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May
26

Nearly 40 years ago, a school principal took a leap of faith and started a small real estate firm in Mansfield, Ohio.

They say it's never too late in life to switch gears and try something new. While many people talk about changing their careers, very few actually do it once they get comfortable. Arnold Haring, an Ohio elementary school principal, started selling real estate as a side business in the late 70s. A decade later, in 1983, Haring Realty was born. Now, nearly 40 years after the firm's conception, Haring Realty is led by Arnold's son, Peter, and is still operating in Ohio. Arnold's courage to make the change led to success for both himself and his family.

"My dad started the business. He was an elementary school principal, and he decided he wanted to earn a little extra income," says Peter. "And before he knew it, it took on a life of its own, and he decided to throw out a shingle and get started."

Over the past 40 years, Haring Realty has grown substantially. The company now has three office locations along with a welcome center in Mansfield on North Main Street. Haring Realty provides home buying, home selling and relocation services for their clients. They offer well-developed, strategic programs to bring buyers and sellers to the top of the market. They also do commercial real estate.

"Where Caring is Key"

The staff at Haring Realty feels that caring for one another and their customers is of utmost importance. That's why their motto is "where caring is key."

"Caring is kind of in our DNA," says Peter. "My dad had that kind of mindset of caring for the customer. And so, we try to hire people that have a servant's heart or a servant's mindset."

Everyone at Haring is considered part of a family, and they believe that "a good family is on the same page." That means being a team player, which comes with certain characteristics.

"I read a book a while back called the Ideal Team Player by Patrick Lencioni, and in it, he suggests that the ideal team player has three characteristics," says Peter. "Team players are hungry, humble and people smart. So, if we want to have a cohesive family, we all need to be team players."

Hunger is the willingness to go after business, and humility is the willingness to learn and listen to what the customer wants. At Haring, they consider humility "key," therefore, it is what they look for most when recruiting new agents. People smart refer to interpersonal skills and a person's core values. Haring Realty has a specific set of core values they practice and instill in their agents. These values are respect, thankfulness, reputation, community, productivity and excellence.

"While Haring Realty is not a Christian business, my faith in Jesus Christ has greatly influenced me and my organization's core values," says Peter. "So, one of our first core values is respect. And that's because everybody is made in God's image. And so, we hold our customers in high regard, and we hold our coworkers in high regard, so they're important people."

At Haring Realty, they foster these values at their weekly sales meetings. They also build on this culture they are creating by hosting "lunch and learn" sessions, where they will come together to develop proficiency with their technology platforms, like DeltaNET®, or work on their selling skills.

When speaking about the lunch and learns, Peter says, "We'll bring in some pizza, and we will not just have a training presentation, but we will actually workshop, work on some of our technology tools, practice the use of those technology tools and learn from each other."

The Power of Marketing

According to Peter, entrepreneurship seemed to run in the Haring family. His grandfather was in the meat business; he was the owner of Haring Meats. As a business owner, he always stressed the importance of marketing and advertising. Because of this, when Arnold started Haring Realty, a marketing manager was one of the first positions he hired. This focus on marketing was key to the initial growth of the company and one of the reasons the company is so successful today.

"One of the things my grandfather always preached was, you want to make your sign as big as possible." Peter continues, "And he always preached to my dad and his siblings when laying out the meat in the meat cooler that it's all about merchandising and setting that up to look really attractive when a customer walks in the door."

Due to his grandfather's advice, having stunning photography and video to appeal to clients was a big part of Haring Realty's marketing strategy from the very beginning.

"We decided a picture's worth a thousand words, so we always did color photography. And we were the first company in our market to think we had to have good photography."

That being said, Peter mentions that his mother was their first-ever photographer. He recalls a time before everything went digital, and photos still had to be developed.

"She was our first photographer, and I remember her making trips to Walmart every day to develop stacks of photographs," says Peter. "Since that time, we've had professional photographers take our photos."

Peter believes that one of the key components of good marketing is rolling with the punches. Whenever there is a shift in technology or a shift in the industry, Haring shifts with it. For example, they were one of the first real estate companies ever to have a website in the late 90s. None of their competitors had them, which gave them a huge advantage in the market. They were also one of the first companies to have a magazine to advertise their listings. These were distributed through the mail and in local stores. Aside from making their own, they advertised in other real estate publications such as Harmon Homes.

"As the market changes, our culture is changing, and the profile of our buyer is changing. We also have to change, and we have to be relevant," says Peter. "So, we've always tried to identify, okay, are there any new tools or approaches that more effectively reach today's customers? Where are the opportunities."

Tapping Into Tech

As mentioned before, Haring Realty tends to move with the times and quickly adapt to the new way of doing things. This is also true when it comes to technology. They have found that with Delta Media Group® they are always up-to-date with the latest technology, which has been a great benefit to their real estate business.

"We tend to be an early adopter of new technologies and different marketing techniques." Peter continues, "For years, we included floor plans with all of our listings. We were the first agency in the Mansfield market to start using Matterport 3D virtual tour technology. Today, we include Matterport with most of our listings, and because it is increasingly imperative that we effectively interact with our clients digitally, our relationship with Delta Media has become more critical."

There are certain features in DeltaNET they've found particularly useful in retaining and seeking out new clients.

"Something that we were able to quickly adopt for everybody in our organization was the My Customer for Life Program," says Peter. "And through that, we're not just sending our past clients or sphere of influence a newsletter, but we're sending them relevant content that's of interest to them individually."

Staying Positive

Even with all the issues and changes they face in the uncertain world of real estate, Haring Realty always makes an effort to stay positive. For them, it's not just about looking on the bright side but being a calming force for their clients.

"As we think about serving our clients, it's about being the calm in the midst of the storm," says Peter. "There's a lot of provocative news out there regarding the real estate market, sensational news. And if we can remind our customers of the long view, we essentially can be the people walking on water in the midst of the storm."

When thinking about this, Peter recalls a situation he once found himself in on a flight returning from Hawaii, a situation in which he could have certainly benefited from some positive thinking.

"I remember I was on a flight from Hawaii one time. I'd never had this kind of turbulence before. There's got to be six people throwing up around me, and this lady I haven't spoken a word to, she's gripping onto my wrist like we're going to die," says Peter. "I'm looking up at the flight attendants, thinking, 'Okay, is this normal?' They were nervous, and you could tell they were freaked out. And so, all of a sudden, consequently, I'm more freaked out. So, it always reminds me, as we're serving our customers, to make this a positive experience for them. We have to be the calming influence in that transaction."

The Future of Haring Realty

As they approach their 40th year, Haring Realty looks to continue its growth and success. The first way they plan to accomplish this is by using their technology tools, primarily through Delta, to generate growth and professional development for their support staff and sales team.

"We want to be more effective at using DeltaNET and some of the technology tools we already have to serve both our sales team and our clients more effectively through better communication from contract to closing," says Peter.

They are also implementing several new marketing initiatives, one of which is promoting their properties' communities.

"Each property we're selling is in the context of its community," says Peter. "We have a big emphasis this year on promoting and providing better community information for each of our listings and telling the story of each of our communities as buyers look to where in particular to locate."

Improving their multimedia content for listings is another priority for them. After all, top-notch photography, copywriting and video are all essential to good advertising. Along the lines of enhancing its brand, Haring Realty also plans to upgrade its facilities this year as they continue to meet with more customers in person.

Arnold Haring's leap of faith started this wonderful company back in 1983, and the core values that came with it remain at the forefront of everything they do today. With their positive outlook, care for their customers and unmatched marketing and technology, there is no limit to how high Haring Realty can fly.

May
24

They say that family is the heart of the home. And for MJ Peterson Real Estate, a family business serving the Western New York region for over 91 years, that certainly rings true.

In the early 1930s, following the Great Depression, Marvin Peterson and his family moved from Detroit to Buffalo and started building houses. What began as a simple home-building venture ultimately became one of the most successful real estate companies in Western New York. With Victor (Pete) Peterson III being the current owner, four generations later, the Peterson family still owns and operates the business they started many years ago.

For over 91 years, MJ Peterson Real Estate has been serving the Western New York region. The company saw a huge expansion and achieved substantial growth during that time. Today, MJ Peterson has eight office locations and over 200 agents. They have over 3,300 units for rent — including apartments, condos and houses — along with residential properties, commercial properties and new construction for sale.

"With the Peterson family, we really take people all the way — from getting college kids into their first rental, to their first condo, to their first home, to their golden years home, and then downsizing," says Bret Llewellyn, General Manager at MJ Peterson.

What Makes Them Special

"At MJ Peterson, we do more than list and sell houses...we make our client's dreams come true," says Pete Peterson.

Since the company was founded, MJ Peterson has built more than 6,000 single-family homes. They developed some of Buffalo's oldest neighborhoods and have contributed to HUD-sponsored moderate and low-income housing developments. Following World War II, MJ Peterson built starter homes in Tonawanda and Amherst. They also built luxury condominiums, family and senior housing developments and commercial properties, such as office buildings and retail shopping centers.

MJ Peterson's efforts were recently recognized by community organization Buffalo Business First with a 2021 Family Business Award. The honor highlights "multi-generational and family businesses in Western New York for overall excellence, innovation, ethics, philanthropy and strength of the region."

Unlike most other real estate companies in the region, the work at MJ Peterson doesn't start and end with renting and selling properties. The organization's long list of services includes new home construction, property management, domestic and international relocation services, land development, lease option and trade-in programs, property appraisals and mortgage placement.

Partnering With the Community

MJ Peterson offers so many services because of their incredible partnerships, one of which is with Premium Mortgage. MJ Peterson strives to work alongside their clients to help them move forward. In cases where people have been renting for two or three years to save up for a home, MJ Peterson will pair them up with Premium Mortgage to assist them with credit counseling and help prepare them to buy. Once they are ready, the company will release them from their lease and automatically pair them with an agent to help them find the perfect property to buy. This partnership is not only useful and educational for clients, but agents appreciate it as well.

"I think that's a good model. It keeps our tenants engaged in the process of homeownership versus renting," says Terri Campbell, Branch Manager at MJ Peterson. "It gets them some credit counseling with our mortgage partner, and it keeps some of our agents on their toes."

For MJ Peterson's unique building division, they work with local builders. They have been partnering with Chris Tucker of Tucker Homes for over 30 years and have since added several other builders. According to Campbell, the building division has made a huge impact on the company's growth, considering "if you've got the land, you've got the listing." This is especially important in the current market, where inventory is particularly low. At the moment, they have about 250 lots in Lancaster, NY.

MJ Peterson has also established an effective partnership with Robitaille Real Estate, which was acquired in 2018 to form MJ Peterson – Robitaille Relocation LLC. That same year, Mike Robitaille, former NHL defenseman for the Buffalo Sabres, signed on as VP of Public Relations.

Thriving in the Digital Age

It's no secret that technology has changed the way we do just about everything in our lives, and selling and buying real estate is no exception. What was once accomplished through direct contact or putting an ad in the local newspaper is done almost completely digitally now. With websites, social media, email and third-party real estate apps like Zillow and Redfin, there's nothing you can't accomplish with the touch of a button.

"If you're going to survive, it's got to be in the social media aspect. It's got to be in the IT at this point," says Llewellyn.

At MJ Peterson, the staff understands the importance of adapting to the digital age, that the days of print ads and yard signs are behind us. The company recently hired its first-ever Social Media Director and has a skilled IT Director on staff, Bill Trautman. Bill is there to help the agents at MJ Peterson with all of their technological needs, whether that be with DeltaNET® or something else.

"Now that we have the internet and the wonderful opportunities that we have through programs like DeltaNET, it's a no-brainer," says Campbell. "And sometimes I think that teaching old dogs new tricks is difficult, but I will tell you that Bill Trautman in our IT department will sit one-on-one with any agent in the company and get them up to speed."

Finding the Right Agents

There is a lot to consider when it comes to finding the right agents. For instance, some recruiters look for industry experience, while others have no problem hiring someone new to the real estate game as long as they fit in with the company culture.

For MJ Peterson, it's the latter. When hiring a new agent, they consider qualities like community involvement and likeability. Whether they have experience in the business or not isn't the issue; it's whether they have the skills and the right personality for the job.

"I like recruiting people from other aspects of business in this town, and two of the very successful, rising stars in one of our offices that we were able to recruit, one is an attorney who works in the trust department at the local bank," says Campbell. "The other was a branch manager of a bank for 20 years and then was an office assistant in a legal firm. These are the people you want. These are people who get business in town. They know a lot of people, and this is a great opportunity for them."

When recruiting new agents, they also seek out those who exemplify true passion and motivation. They believe this is particularly important in an industry like real estate, where you won't necessarily have instant success, and people tend to weave in and out.

"I really like to go ahead and start out with an agent that's been in the market a year or two who is doing that $1 million, $2 million, $3 million, because taking somebody from that $2 million to $4 million or $6 million with the right tools is much easier," Llewellyn remarks. "And it's like we want to go ahead and know that they have the motivation and they have a passion for this because nine out of 10 new agents are gone after year two because they don't want to pay their dues, because they only sold two houses."

Training New Hires

Once an agent is welcomed aboard, the training process begins. At MJ Peterson, they have a comprehensive program that allows new hires to quickly and effectively get up-to-date with the industry and the company processes. MJ Peterson has a "Leap into Success" program, which is a five-week course. During this program, participants have the opportunity to listen to various speakers on different subjects.

For new agents, training also includes learning the technology and setting up their custom website, customer database and digital marketing campaigns through DeltaNET. Overall, the training process is meant to cater to each agent's individual needs. At MJ Peterson, they believe that this is the best approach, considering every agent is different and has a unique set of skills and experience.

Once an agent completes the onboarding process, the training doesn't end there. MJ Peterson offers continuing education courses throughout the year. One of their favorite events is the Breakfast of Champions, a Q&A series with the more experienced agents where they discuss topics like luxury living and how to survive tax season over coffee and pancakes.

Maintaining a Family Culture

"We remain committed to never lose[ing] sight that our business is people," states Pete Peterson.

MJ Peterson may have grown quite a bit since its early days, but that doesn't mean it doesn't strive to maintain the same family culture that the company was founded on. Pete Peterson prioritizes instilling the same values in his current staff that his family had when they first arrived in Buffalo and began building houses. One way that Peterson does this is by having an open-door policy that allows agents to stop in at any time. Whether they want him to attend their event, give his two cents or answer a question, he's always there.

"If anybody ever needs anything, Pete's always available. His door's always open. He'll address whatever your concerns are and make sure he takes care of you," says Trautman. "So that's one of the good things about coming to a family company, and that's why I'm here. I've seen both sides, family companies, and I've seen corporations where the family company is far better because you're out one-on-one with the owners, and it's a first-name basis."

Being located in a smaller city like Buffalo also helps MJ Peterson maintain that family feel. Having a more tight-knit community enables them to use a community-oriented approach and achieve a sense of trust and community among agents and staff.

Addressing the Issues

Shortage of inventory. Inflation. Interest rate hikes. These are just a few of the issues that may come up when working in real estate. That said, it's important always to stay ahead of the curve.

For MJ Peterson, that means a lot of things. First, during a time like this, when inventory is low, they can rely on their rental properties to keep things moving. They have more rentals than just about anyone in Western New York, and they are close to the University of Buffalo, meaning young adults are constantly moving to the area looking to rent. Their building division also helps prevent a shortage of inventory from becoming a problem because if you build houses, you will always have houses to sell.

When it comes to navigating issues like interest rates and inflation, it helps to ensure that clients are educated and prepared financially. Hence, they're ready to buy in any climate. That's why MJ Peterson's partnership with Premium Mortgage is so essential. These partners will come to their offices, sit down with a client and work out a path for homeownership that works for them. So, when the time comes, whenever that may be, the client has what they need to buy, and the agent can make a sale.

Another way they keep momentum is by making sure they are placing their offices in the right locations and that those communities continue to thrive. MJ Peterson recognizes the importance of seeking out clients in areas with profitable, growing businesses. For example, in Buffalo, there is an M&T Bank that is currently hiring over 2,000 new employees. This growth has paved the way for a surge of new homebuyers to settle in the area. MJ Peterson is also centrally located in Amherst, which happens to be the second-largest city in Western New York, providing them with a vast pool of potential clients and businesses.

"They're Here Because of Delta"

MJ Peterson believes that working with Delta Media Group® has had a huge impact on the success of their company. They feel that Delta is why so many agents want to work there and why they stick around.

"I've talked to so many agents that [have said] they're here because of Delta," Trautman says. "They don't have the technology anywhere else. And then once they see everything that Delta has to offer, they love it."

One of the main reasons they love Delta is its impact on recruitment. This is largely due to Delta's patent-pending SEO, which puts agents on the map.

"Google your name and then google your competitor's name and see where you land in the search results. Every time we're in the top two," says Trautman.

Another game-changer provided by Delta is how simple it is to find sales leads. At MJ Peterson, they have found that over 50% of their leads are generated through Delta. They have also noticed that Delta is particularly beneficial for new agents when finding their first leads, enabling them to hit the ground running.

The staff at MJ Peterson is also very fond of the digital marketing tools Delta offers, such as blog posts, email campaigns and electronic postcards. They've found that these resources assist them both with finding new clients and retaining current ones.

Where Are They Going?

Over the past three years since using Delta, MJ Peterson has brought in over $140 million in new agent business. And in the past three months alone, $45 million. They feel confident that with Delta, they can continue to grow even more.

"We're planting seeds out there. We're growing them. We're going ahead and watering them," says Llewellyn.

The company plans to expand to have nine or 10 offices in the near future. However, they plan to stay local. Their ultimate goal is to become the person to go to in Western New York, not to extend to places like Syracuse or New York City that have completely different markets.

Over the past 91 years, MJ Peterson has come a long way. The previously small family construction business is now one of the top real estate organizations in the region. It has so much more than just building and selling homes to offer. It's an organization that people in the community want to work for and work with. But despite seeing tremendous growth, MJ Peterson's original vision remains the same: to build strong neighborhoods based on family values.

May
23

When two real estate companies that share the same goals and values come together, there is nothing they can't do. Living proof of this is one of New England's finest real estate companies, Badger Peabody & Smith Realty.

Crystal clear lakes, majestic forests and breathtaking mountains. Luxury ski resorts and snow lodges. Biking, hiking and kayaking. All of this can be found in the beautiful region of New Hampshire that Badger Peabody & Smith Realty is lucky to call home.

Serving residents and travelers in New Hampshire, the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont and Western Maine, Badger Peabody & Smith Realty has agents and offices scattered throughout New Hampshire: in Berlin, Bretton Woods, Franconia, Holderness, Jackson, Littleton, North Conway and Plymouth. The firm offers full-service real estate services. They are dedicated to ensuring the process of buying or selling a home is as simple and painless as possible for their customers.

With properties in some of the most magnificent parts of the region, much of Badger Peabody & Smith Realty's business is with second-home buyers. Given the abundance of ski resorts in the area, many people come looking for a seasonal home during the coldest, snowiest months of the year. And for those who don't enjoy winter sports, they can still travel in the summer to visit the lakes and mountains and experience the various biking and hiking trails.

Coming Together

Badger Realty, originally located in North Conway, NH, was founded in 1965 by Dick Badger. It was a family business from the very beginning. A community icon, Dick Badger helped transform the town of North Conway into the ski resort and tourist destination it is today. Dick loved what he did. He practiced real estate until the month before he died in his early '90s.

Formed in 1993 by Andy Smith and Jere Peabody, Peabody & Smith Realty covered the western part of the White Mountain National Forest. Like Badger Realty, they had a big market for vacation and primary-home buyers and those looking to escape the stress of urban areas.

The two firms covering different territories of the White Mountains ultimately merged to become one. In February of 2021, the two officially came together to form Badger Peabody & Smith Realty.

Blending two organizations isn't easy, so it only makes sense to do so if the companies and their core values align. Thankfully, Peabody & Smith Realty found that they shared similar values with Badger Realty, making their merger much easier.

"We had a lot of similarities growing up and raising both our companies and our families in our respective communities," says Andy. "We always wanted to be part of the local community, and as I got to know Dick as both a competitor and a colleague over the years, we had very similar philosophies and mutual respect for each other's company."

They also each placed value on the hard work of their agents and knew that the key to success was doing whatever they needed to help their agents succeed.

"There was a high ratio of staff to agents, and a high level of support in both companies and that philosophy has continued and made the merger even easier," says Andy. "It wasn't going from one business model to another."

Jessica DiPietro, VP of Operations at Badger Peabody & Smith Realty, felt similarly that Peabody & Smith Realty aligned with Badger's values.

"I feel like it was a long time coming; it was meant to be," says Jessica. "It was a long courtship dance of going back and forth, but I think even years ago, we all knew it was going to happen. I know Dick knew it was going to happen before he passed away. The merger and transition were very easy culturally and value-wise."

Building a New Brand

When you create a new company, you need a new brand. So, despite each organization holding its own distinctive identity, merging meant it was time to start from scratch and rebuild.

When building a brand, one of the most important things to consider is who you're trying to attract. Being located close to mountains and lakes, Badger Peabody & Smith Realty knew it needed to appeal to a demographic of people who love the outdoors. So, with mountain ranges and natural-looking colors incorporated into their logo, they chose to target their ideal audience directly.

The logo design needed to be more progressive yet still look modern for years to come. So, they worked with a branding firm to create a logo not only unique to their newly established brand but one that's visually appealing as well. This image is important because it's on every sign, business card and piece of merchandise the company distributes.

Along with the visual aspects, a good brand always has a clear, well-stated message. To refine theirs and their logo, Badger Peabody & Smith Realty worked alongside branding expert Steve McKee from McKee and Wallwork in Santa Fe, NM.

Although a modern brand is what they wanted, Badger Peabody & Smith Realty aimed to keep the integrity of both brands while creating their new one by using the design elements from their previous logos. They felt it was important to acknowledge where they came from and continue each company's legacy.

"We've done high-level brand marketing and all sorts of things, including a new logo, clothing and more. Andy continues, "But I think, overall, we've wanted to maintain the integrity of both brands. That's been important."

They also wanted to have the right technology to market their new brand. That's why, when merging, Badger Peabody & Smith Realty gave their tech a refresh. They created a new website through Delta Media Group® and established a new and improved online presence through Delta's SEO and digital marketing tools. They introduced the world to their new brand using social media, eblasts in the DeltaNET® and traditional print media methods.

While it may have been a long process, Debbie Anderson, Marketing Director at Badger Peabody & Smith Realty, cherishes the opportunity the marketing team was given to reinvent the brand, start with a clean slate and build entirely from the ground up.

"We literally have reinvented ourselves," says Debbie. "It's such a dream job, from my perspective, to be able to be involved in something like that."

On Dec. 1, 2021, the firm hosted an internal rebranding event. During this, Badger Peabody & Smith Realty announced their new name and debuted their new web page and logo design for all the agents and staff. The event was held over brunch at Polly's Pancake Parlor in Sugar Hill, NH. They gave out swag bags, journals, holiday presents and branded Yeti tumblers. Although they would not introduce the new brand to the outside world until over a month later, this was an exciting day for Badger Peabody & Smith Realty as it marked the beginning of a new chapter.

Overcoming Obstacles

Although Badger Peabody & Smith Realty's merger was ultimately a success, that doesn't mean it came without challenges — some of which they were prepared for and others they weren't.

First off, getting the agents up to date and answering their many questions wasn't easy, but the staff from both teams came together and made it work as effectively as possible. One thing that made the transition easier was the agents in both companies were already accustomed to using DeltaNET. Plus, the staff could do most of the reworking in the back end, making things far less complicated for them.

"We ran parallel, and we did it behind the scenes," says Jessica. "Most of the time, our agents didn't even know anything was going on or was different, so they were not interfered with on a day-to-day basis. Our goal was to do everything and try to get those pieces aligned and connected as much as possible and get everything flowing before we made any tweaks or changes that would interfere with their lives."

While the plan to merge had been in motion for years before making it official, most things did not go as planned due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The team had to meet virtually instead of in the offices and rely solely on technology.

When speaking about the impact that COVID-19 had on the merger, Jessica says, "I think it prolonged a little bit of the personal connection, not so much with the management team because we kind of still saw each other, but with the agents. It's hard to connect on Zoom."

For Andy and the rest of the team at Peabody & Smith Realty, going remote wasn't much of an issue considering they were 100% paperless and used technology for most of their work already.

"We put all that technology into place so when we couldn't come into the offices and we had to do closings in the parking lot, we were able to continue along pretty well from a functionality standpoint," says Andy.

But for the staff at Badger Realty, it was a bit more difficult. They hadn't quite reached their technological goals prior to going remote, thus finding it more challenging to navigate at first. However, instead of letting it set them back, they used it as an opportunity to lean into the technology and virtual resources they had available to them and get on the same page as Peabody & Smith. In the end, they were happy they did so.

The pandemic also deeply impacted the economy as people were told to stay home and stay put. When the first shutdowns occurred, big cities like Boston and New York took the biggest hit. Luckily, Badger Peabody & Smith Realty saw the perfect marketing opportunity as most of their properties reside in more off-the-grid areas, ideal for social distancing. As people all over the country were fleeing big towns and cities, they were there providing a safe destination filled with peace and quiet.

"We're a second-home resort area for Boston and the Northeast feeder market in the White Mountain National Forest, both to buy for summer and year-round recreation," says Andy. "So, during COVID, we were the safe place to rent and buy, and our sales volume went up tremendously."

Onboarding New Agents

During the merger, both firms maintained their current staff, and with the opportunity to expand, there was room to hire new agents. For Badger Peabody & Smith Realty, while they wish to grow in some regard, it's not about bringing on as many agents as possible but rather finding the right ones. This is something else both companies have always aligned with.

"Both firms always looked for career-orientated agents. It was neither one of our goals just to have the biggest amount of agent licenses hanging on the wall," says Andy. "We had a commitment to a very high level, well-qualified client service. We always have and will continue to believe this is a career that requires good, educated full-time agents giving the very best level of service."

Instead of looking at numbers like years of experience, Badger Peabody & Smith Realty prioritizes finding a certain personality. They feel that the skills can be taught as long as an agent has the right mindset for the job.

"We are looking to grow, but that's not our first driver. The first driver is to find the right match with our existing agents," says Andy. "We try to hire on the personality and the skillsets they bring, not necessarily real estate experience."

Badger Peabody & Smith Realty's extensive onboarding program lasts about 60 days. They use the Leading Real Estate Companies of the World (LeadingRE®) training platform, and they provide a mix of internal, staff and management training. For agents stepping into the industry for the first time, they offer a valuable mentoring program in which a new agent gets paired with a more experienced agent to learn the ropes.

When speaking about the training program, Andy says, "It's a combination of everything depending on what the new agent needs. They may be a very experienced agent that just needs to get up to speed on our tech stack or a brand-new agent who needs full-service mentoring."

From a technology standpoint, they are excited about DeltaNET Academy and how that can help improve their tech training process.

Supporting Their Team

The support doesn't end after an agent finishes their training — it's only the beginning. As previously mentioned, supporting their agents is one of the top priorities for Badger Peabody & Smith Realty. Support means providing and assisting agents with using all the right tools and resources to succeed.

"Both companies have been focused on providing agents with the tools, resources and support that they need to best do their job," says Jessica. "We have staff members who assist the agents with the paperwork and putting listings in the MLS. We have our closing coordinators help with the closing process. We have our in-house marketing team, which is amazing because they can do projects that if we outsourced it, we wouldn't be able to do."

Supporting their agents also means supporting them as human beings, not just as talent. That's why they ensure agents are taking care of their mental health. In a time like this, in a pandemic where buyers are tired and listings feel few and far between, this is especially important.

"There's a buyer fatigue, and there's an agent fatigue; they're trying so hard to do right by their buyers and despite how hard they work, they can't do anything about it," says Andy. "I try not to use the word work-life balance because, in this industry, it's a balance of everything. You live and breathe real estate seven days a week if you're successful in this, but it's balancing all of that and understanding you just need to be able to encapsulate and walk away from it and take care of your own mental health."

The support at Badger Peabody & Smith Realty includes not only the staff supporting the agents but also the agents and staff supporting each other. And that support goes beyond the office.

"From a cultural standpoint, we rally to each other's causes and support each other professionally and outside the workplace," says Jessica.

The real estate company has found this support not only fosters a great work environment but also provides excellent results for agents.

"Our average agent in 2021 did 24 sides, so certainly higher, much higher, than the industry average, and of course, we have some that do three times that," says Andy. "For the most part, everybody shows up and takes their career very seriously, and we want to always provide them with the highest level of support so that they can do 20, 30, 40 sides."

Showing Appreciation

Although supporting your agents certainly goes a long way, showing appreciation can be highly valuable too. That's why Badger Peabody & Smith Realty makes sure to let agents and staff know they're appreciated on a regular basis. While that can simply be done through daily praise or words of affirmation, the company holds several annual events to show its appreciation for its agents and staff on a larger scale.

Each year, they hold a gala to celebrate their success from the previous year. This February, they held their annual gala at the Omni Mt. Washington Resort in the grand ballroom. Everyone got dressed up; they had a delicious dinner, a photo booth and a raffle to win prizes. During the event, they gave out awards to agents and gifts to the staff. Since they had just recently launched their new brand and firm, they wanted to make this year's event extra special for everyone, and it was.

In addition to the gala, they had a company event at Mt. Cranmore over the summer, where everyone got to socialize and take a ride on the chair lift overlooking the mountain. This was a great way for agents and staff to catch up, get outside and enjoy the great outdoors.

Badger Peabody & Smith Realty doesn't only believe in showing appreciation for those who work for the company but for their customers too. Another annual event they host is the Customer Appreciation Barbecue. They've been hosting this event for almost 20 years. This year, they brought in a food truck to offer free meals to customers.

Connecting as a Community

Before the merger, both teams were made up of people who believed in serving their community and maintaining a community-oriented approach to their business. So, when the two came together, engaging with the community was a top priority for everyone.

One way they support the community is through providing sponsorship and donations. In 2021, the company gave over $35,000 to local community organizations. Some of the organizations they have supported include Pope Memorial Library, Good Neighbor Food Pantry, the Boys and Girls Club of North Country, Holderness Historical Society and the Colonial Theater.

Merging Has Its Perks

Aside from working well with one another, there have been some obvious perks to Badger Realty and Peabody & Smith Realty joining forces. First off, they can now expand their reach, covering more area. Before merging, although they worked within the same region, they never really crossed paths. They each had their own territory, and they stuck to that. Now that they are working together, the team has more space to explore.

"Covering such a large service area with the two companies together has been wonderful," says Debbie.

Also, with the merger, they are seeing growth on all sides. By combining referrals, they have been able to expand their customer base. This has allowed them to hire more agents and even add some new and necessary staff positions — such as a Manager of Agent Success. This position, held by Gaige Pequeno, has made a huge impact on keeping agents engaged and informed in all processes.

"We were both in the 30-agent range independently, which is a good size for the kind of rural area that we're in," says Andy. "But it still wasn't quite big enough to do some of the things we thought we could do if we joined forces and then it would just maintain our competitive advantage, and it certainly has done that so far very well."

Another benefit, particularly for the Badger team, was becoming part of Luxury Portfolio International®, the luxury division of LeadingRE. While they were always in that second-home and vacation market, they weren't part of Luxury Portfolio International, which Peabody & Smith Realty was. So, by merging with them, they could offer a luxury affiliation for clients and customers. With Luxury Portfolio International, they can now market globally, allowing them to advertise in higher-end magazines and on global websites for the first time.

"Although we could market locally and nationally, joining forces and being a part of Luxury Portfolio International has given us advertising opportunities that as a smaller company, just the budget allowing for that kind of marketing was difficult," says Debbie.

Couldn't Have Done it "With Anyone Else"

Badger Peabody & Smith Realty believes that Delta played a significant role in the merger's success. Jessica says, "I don't think we would've been able to do it with anyone else."

For them, it wasn't just about the technology Delta provided or the strategies. It was the dedication and commitment to helping them they valued most.

"Delta is more than just a tech platform," says Jessica. "They have been an integral part of the strategic portion, the advising portion of the merger and have been a reliable 11th-hour lifeboat throughout — providing that 'Oh my god it's 9 p.m., things are breaking down, and someone will hop on a Zoom call with me,' type of unparalleled support on more than one occasion. Plus, the fact that an agent can call the helpline and troubleshoot with a live person is unheard of these days and very much appreciated." 

The staff at Badger Peabody & Smith Realty feels that Delta has consistently kept their company goals in mind and shares the same values for customer service.

"Once the agent gets that relationship, gets the lead, sells them a house, whatever it is, we want that customer-for-life relationship to be forefront all the time," says Andy. "It's a good partnership with Delta because they feel the same way, and they have helped us refine that."

There are many tools and features that Delta offers that have made both the staff and agents at Badger Peabody & Smith Realty's lives easier as well. These include being able to work within both the back and front end of the CRM, view and comment on seller reports, make customized marketing materials and send campaign emails to lifelong and potential customers. Chrissy Smith, VP/ Sales & Marketing at Badger Peabody & Smith Realty, sees that the agents are happy and more productive using Delta.

"I think what's nice about the DeltaNET is the agents like it," she says. "Of all the CRMs they've used in the past, it's the easiest to navigate and to understand, and so the bottom line, the agents really like it."

Looking to the Future

Now that the pandemic is seemingly coming to an end, it's time for Badger Peabody & Smith Realty to look to the future. They are excited to be back in the office and be able to collaborate in person again. They are also excited to be back to hosting events and plan to continue coming together in 2022.

Even with all the fun, the work doesn't stop — the team is always generating new ideas. They have a few marketing and social media initiatives in the works they're looking forward to launching soon, such as a social media campaign to get to know their agents.

"It's nice because it's out there for the public to see who the agents are, but we're also able to use that internally where agents can read about each other in a more personal manner and kind of get to know a little bit of background on those agents as well," says Chrissy. "So, I think that'll be a really nice piece to help everyone learn more about each other."

While the industry will always be unpredictable, the staff at Badger Peabody & Smith Realty remains optimistic.

"I think our industry is going to survive the next couple of years in fine shape," says Andy. "We can't sustain 15% or 18% appreciation, that's not going to happen, but overall, I think the agents are going to have a good year in 2022. I think buyers that have been patient and struggled and put in 10 offers and lost, everyone will see more inventory coming in the next 60 to 90 days, and they'll be able to get into a house."

Managing to master a merger in the midst of a global pandemic is certainly something to be celebrated. The benefits of the decision are clear, and both companies' core values remain intact. With all the right tools, including DeltaNET, and their dedication to their agents, community and customers, there is nothing they can't accomplish.

We look forward to seeing Badger Peabody & Smith Realty continue to grow, and as they do, Delta will be there every step of the way to lend a hand.

May
11

Building a Custom CMA Has Never Been Easier Than With Delta Pitch.

On May 30, Delta Media Group® will release Delta Pitch, a Comparative Market Analysis tool that makes it possible to create a CMA in as little as one click.

Building a custom CMA has never been easier. And to top it off, Delta Pitch is integrated with the DeltaNET®, so you don't have to look far for it. This feature goes hand-in-hand with DeltaNET® 7, Delta's next generation of customizable, automated real estate technology releasing this fall.

So, how does it work? It's as simple as entering an address and clicking the link to build a CMA. You have a beautiful, company-branded CMA with comps, recent pending's, and more in just one click. Built on top of an AI platform, it will provide all relevant properties and other important information in an attractive, interactive flipbook. Other features include:

  • Customization of comps and templates
  • Add custom pages
  • Automatically created flipbooks with annotations to be shared with customers
  • Automatically launch Zoom/video calls directly from Delta Pitch

Delta Pitch will also be integrated into our AVM platform. When a customer comes to your website and enters their property address, they automatically get an automated estimate based on the current listings in their area. As an agent, this gives you the opportunity to land a new listing. Making it easy, the system creates a digital CMA, comparable to a flipbook that you can then send to the lead, with little work on your end.

Michael Minard, Owner and CEO of Delta Media Group, says, "Delta Pitch is more than a CMA builder; it's an entire presentation builder."

Join Franklin Stoffer (Vice President of Sales at Delta Media Group) on Wednesday, May 25 at 2:00 p.m. EST to take a first-hand look at the new DeltaNET Pitch. Don't miss this chance to see Delta Pitch first-hand and how it can transform your presentation process.

Click (here) to register for the webinar.

April
26

Virtual showings took the world by storm in the wake of the pandemic. Buyers and sellers alike needed to shift their perspective on virtual technology quickly to adapt to a new world. Agents and brokers had a challenge ahead of them: To learn and implement the new technology.

As the public health situation improves, virtual showings are still going strong.

However, more and more buyers want opportunities to return to the traditional way of seeing a home. In the past, open house events have stood out among the best ways for agents to meet new leads. It is sometimes possible to get an offer from a qualified buyer on a home in just minutes, too.

Although there will always be some people who are just curious, most people who go to a conventional home showing are interested in buying in the very near future. Although these events take planning and foresight, they help the agent connect with the local community in a powerful way.

Unfortunately, many agents had mixed results with their showings in the past. This might leave some under the impression that there's no space for open houses or showings in their marketing mix.

It's understandable showings seem like a tall order, especially at a time like this! But there is a solution: A property showing manager that lets you quickly and efficiently schedule, plan, and scale showings — whether you're doing one a month or several every week.

Enhance Your Showings with a Unique, Independent Local Showing Manager

On paper, the idea of a showing seems simple: Prepare the home, invite guests, and follow through. A quick tour, some questions and answers, and you may be well on your way to fielding qualified offers. In practice, though, there's always a little bit more to it than that!

You want to make the process quick and painless for yourself, your seller, and visitors to the property. At the same time, you also need to make sure the time you invest produces real business value — that means getting information for follow-up from every participant, including the "no shows."

For the first time, you can do it all with Local Showings — an independent solution designed just for you.

Local Showings is Delta Media Group's response to an overwhelming desire among agents and brokers to have a fully integrated solution that works with their technology rather than requiring them to start over with something new. It operates as a standalone product and within your DeltaNET®6 real estate all-in-one solution.

Here's what you can expect when you try it for yourself:

  • Schedule a Showing for Any Listing in Your MLS
    It takes only minutes to schedule a showing from your phone, within your own website, or directly on your MLS. Local Showings is available in Web-based and mobile formats and also offers apps for Apple or Android. No matter what technology you use or where you work, it is ready for you.

  • Generate White Label Reports for Your Sellers
    Sellers rely on the marketing you do for their properties, and they want to have confidence about your efforts. It's never been simpler to keep them in the loop with detailed reports from Local Showings. They can see the entire history of events, total attendees, and much more, all with your branding.

  • Get Feedback from Attendees
    With full integration of event registration and post-event follow-up, you'll capture granular insight from your attendees with ease. And that's not the end of the story: In partnership with DeltaNET®6 or your existing solution, you can easily reconnect with no-shows and visitors who are still in the market.

  • Communicate Quickly and Easily with Agents
    Communication is the key when you're working with multiple agents. Local Showings is equipped with a sophisticated communication overlay that allows you to plan and project manage your showings behind the scenes, ensuring a spectacular experience for both your sellers and their prospective buyers.

  • Get Help and Support Whenever You Need It
    With years of experience in property technology, Delta Media Group knows how to deliver effective and meaningful support. No matter where you are or when you need us, our team is there: Our call center is ready to field your questions and troubleshoot your problems, so your showings stay on track.

  • Showings Are Coming Back with a Bang – Get Ready with Local Showings Today
    Virtual tours are here to stay, but buyers have never been more enthusiastic about face-to-face property showings than they are right now. Showing management will save you time and help you achieve more for your customers.

Don't settle for partnering with the competition — use a modern solution from a leading property technology firm. Contact us to learn more or schedule a demo to see how Local Showings will work at your practice.

May
2

When it comes to email marketing in real estate, looking at the numbers can help you determine what works and what doesn't.

At Delta Media Group, we service brokerages of all sizes across the United States. From independent agents to more than a dozen of the RealTrends TOP 100 brokerages in the nation. Earlier this year, I took the time to conduct a thorough analysis of the adoption rates, email statistics, and general website performance of some of our largest partners to get a gauge of what "true adoption" looks like, as well as what kind of email marketing was being done by some of the top-performing brokerages in the nation.

Let's start by looking at the adoption statistics because those will play directly into the volume of emails sent by these firms. All of the data in this report is from 1/1/2021 thru 1/1/2022. Of the 12 brokerages analyzed, they had a collective 12,000 agents within their organizations.

As I started to review the usage of our DeltaNET® platform, one thing immediately became clear to me. Some companies use technology regularly and have made it a part of their company culture. Other firms simply offer a CRM to "check the box" and are not actively promoting or pushing its use. In the last edition of our Real Estate Marketing & Technology magazine, I talked about the importance of building a healthy culture of technology. If you aren't talking about it, if you aren't sharing the wins, eventually, the technology will become an afterthought in your organization.

That's why "adoption" statistics can be tricky to analyze. Large tech vendors want to use those numbers to convince brokerages that they have the magical technology that agents will finally want to pick up and use. The reality is that no brokerage will ever have a 100% adoption rate of any technology. There are too many real estate agents that are just looking for a company to hold their license and are only in real estate as a part-time job. In a year, they'll, maybe, record one or two transactions. And that's okay; real estate doesn't need to be a full-time career for every agent. That also means it's okay to know you will never get everyone on the same page.

When it comes to our largest organizations, some saw a very healthy adoption where more than 80% of their agents were logging into the system on a regular basis (at least once a month) and having some type of activity within the system. That could be building a flyer, changing their website, or responding to leads. Other organizations saw as low as a 39% healthy login rate. The numbers varied wildly across the board, with the average healthy adoption rate coming in around 61%.

This falls in line with a concept I've also talked about in this magazine before — the "30-30-30" rule. 30% of your agents will rarely use your tools. 30% of your agents will probably use your tools but will need to be coached/trained/and motivated to use them. This group is where most training directors spend their time. The final batch of agents is the ones who are pushing brokerages to get these tools and will use them often.

The number of agents using the system will directly translate into how many contacts exist within these brokerages' CRM platforms. You need contacts in a system in order to market to them. We found in our data that, on average, 80% of agents inside these 12 companies had actually uploaded their contacts into their CRM. In total, 4.6 million contacts were receiving reoccurring marketing from these brokerages. That is huge! These larger firms had roughly 386,000 contacts in their pool to be regularly contacted.

So you've got agents using a CRM, you've got them uploading contacts, and the goal is you want to be marketing to these contacts, boosting your brand impressions, and providing something of value to the potential home buyer or home seller. The content they're receiving needs to be valuable. Things like new listing alerts, market updates, regular newsletter content relevant to their interests, or seller reports. At Delta, we have seven distinct channels of email marketing. Those are:

Homefinder Reports: New listing alerts that can run instantly, daily, weekly, or monthly.

Market Watch Reports: Market statistics updates that run weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or quarterly.

Seller Reports: Detailed statistics on how a listing is performing on the market. View counts, engagement, showings, etc. These run weekly or bi-weekly.

E-mail Drip Campaigns: Various automated touchpoints like holiday emails or buyer campaigns. They are relationship-focused and have a large variety of email volume. It could be one email a week or four emails a year. It all depends on the type of campaign.

E-cards: These are graphics-heavy emails that usually are focused on displaying information within the email and not focused on driving traffic back to a website.

Email Blasts: This is an email that is built and scheduled to run on a specific day and time to a pre-set group of customers.

My Customer For Life: Our AI-Driven newsletter contains curated content for home buyers, sellers, and general home improvement. Any contact within the CRM can receive this newsletter, which has 12 new articles added monthly. The newsletter tracks what type of content customers are engaging with and starts to become a curated newsletter of content relevant to the customers' interests.

Here is a breakdown of how these different channels of email marketing performed:

Over the course of one year, our clients sent more than 43 million emails to a total of 4.6 million contacts. On average, it appears that enterprise brokerages are hitting a contact with a little over nine emails per year. However, that number will be inflated as the home finder emails are really new listing alerts running to buyers who are actively looking for a home. If you remove those 11.5 million emails, it's really closer to seven emails per contact per year for general branded emails.

Personally, I think the best cadence for email marketing is more like 12-18 emails per year. You should be increasing your brand impressions significantly by giving these clients valuable information like our Market Watch Reports or our My Customer For Life newsletter.

Let's break down some of the findings from this data.

1 — the types of email marketing running from the DeltaNET perform extremely well compared to most online email marketing analytics. Your average open rate should be around 17%, and your average click-to-open rate should be around 6%. These benchmarks come from campaignmonitor.com. With that in mind, it's clear that there are three stand-out emails in our marketing suite that everyone should take notice of.

2 — Market Watch Reports. We encourage all agents using the DeltaNET to enroll their customers to receive these types of detailed market reports. If you have a potential buyer looking to move to a new area of town, you can enroll them to receive these reports. Or, if you're looking to keep a long-term relationship with a customer, you can enroll someone who just moved into a new house to receive these market reports. Perhaps they purchased at $240k, and a few years later, they see homes in their market selling for an average of $280k. They may be inclined to list and sell again once the price point gets high enough. These emails have a massive 65% click-thru rate. This means the customers opening these emails are almost always clicking on them to be sent back to your website. There is a huge opportunity here.

3 — Seller Reports. While this is the lowest volume of emails coming from our system, it's clear that home sellers are paying attention to them. Seller Report emails have a 63% open rate, the highest of any type of email I've ever seen statistics for. If you have active listings, your seller should receive these detailed emails.

4 — My Customer For Life. This email newsletter is clearly working. I believe it may be the magic bullet for email marketing, and we didn't even realize we had it. Our Digital Marketing team has added new content articles to this newsletter for nearly five years. To date, MCFL has more than 750 articles of content that fall into three categories: Buyer, Seller, and Home Owner. If I receive an agent's branded newsletter in week one, it will show me all three types of content. Let's say I click on a seller article. Delta tracks that. Next week when I get my newsletter, it will have two seller articles and a home improvement/buyer article. If I click on that sell article again, I am flagged in the agent's CRM as a potential seller, and now the newsletter will always contain more seller content because that's relevant to my interests.

The MCFL newsletters have a 59% click-thru rate. This is one of the best online marketing plans you could subscribe to, and the best part is that it's included in our DeltaNET platform with no extra charge. Other online marketing companies would charge anywhere from $20 to $50 per month to subscribe to a newsletter that gets that much new content each month. And it's not just for your email either. This content is also designed to be automatically shared on your social channels after you've connected your

DeltaNET to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Instagram. You get great reoccurring social content and email newsletter content automatically each week.

As the data shows, email marketing works. Our top 12 clients saw nearly six million impressions of their brand through email and drove more than 1.6 million visitors back to their websites. If you're looking to step up your game on email marketing, the first place to start is your CRM. Make sure you have agents uploading contacts to market to. Once you've got contacts to email, you should get into a rhythm of reoccurring newsletters, dynamic email drip campaigns, and setting up market watch reports for all customers. Specialized emails like seller reports and home finder reports are great for sellers and buyers. Finally, you can use tools like email blasts to send mass notifications about things like company events.

If you'd like to set up a consultation to review your email marketing strategy, please don't hesitate to reach out to one of our Software Consultants at sales@deltagroup.com.

April
14

The real estate industry is always innovating, and new technology often alters the way that agents serve clients. Today's real estate clients are typically much better informed than they would have been in years past, but that doesn't change the fact that they still rely heavily on their agent throughout the process. So while your role may have changed due to technology, that same technology also holds the key to putting people first and generating a steady pipeline of referrals from satisfied clients.

Putting people first starts with providing easy access to the information they need to make informed decisions when they're buying or selling a home. This is one of the key ways that the role of an agent has evolved due to technology. In the past, the agent was the primary, direct source of information for clients. Today, you can provide much of that data through your real estate website and other online resources, which frees up more time to put your clients first in other ways.

  • Listings Search Integration
    Thankfully, the days of an agent having to dig through paperwork to find listing specs for clients are long gone... as long as you make it easy for them to search for listings through your real estate website. By making this information easily available, life is made easier for both agents and clients.

  • Informative Real Estate Content
    The real estate content on your website is another key ingredient in the recipe for building trust and keeping your clients informed. This is where you go beyond the information contained in listings to dive deep into the cities and neighborhoods where you do business. Your content is also a great place to provide detailed real estate advice that's always available on your website when clients need it.

  • Newsletters and Market Analysis
    Beyond your website, email drip campaigns and AI-driven newsletters are reliable ways to provide the information that clients want at just the right moment in their journey. Auto-generated reports, like My HomeFinder, Market Watch, and Seller Reports, make it easy to keep clients up to date on the markets that matter to them.

  • Virtual Open Houses and Showings
    While they grew in popularity during the peak of the pandemic, it's safe to say that virtual open houses and showings are here to stay. These valuable tools put people first by allowing them to tour homes in detail from the comfort of their favorite device, no matter where they're currently located. Reducing the need for in-person tours and providing a convenient, powerful way to market homes makes this technology just as beneficial from the perspective of the seller.

Leverage Technology to Be Responsive and Share Your Expertise

Providing all of that data, information and market analysis, up front leads to more informed clients, but that doesn't mean that they won't still rely on your expertise. Technology also makes it much easier to communicate with modern real estate clients who expect speed and responsiveness from their agents. Whether you're communicating through SMS text messaging, instant messaging apps, social media, email, or video calls, being available to clients is still a key part of the job description. Clients have questions, you have answers, and technology makes it easier to handle those communications in a quick, convenient manner.

Technology Unlocks Time to Be the Trusted Advisor Your Clients Need

While technology has changed the real estate industry, it doesn't change the fact that buying or selling a home is a monumental, potentially life-changing experience for your clients. They don't just want an agent who will provide them with the facts and then get out of the way. They want someone who understands where they're coming from, values their time, and advocates for them at every step of the process.

By taking advantage of the time-saving benefits of real estate technology, you have more time to be the trusted advisor that clients need in order to buy or sell a home with full confidence that they're making informed choices. They count on you to help them negotiate, navigate the closing process, and handle the key details from the start of the process to the day that they sign the paperwork. Technology makes it easier to focus on providing the best possible experience for your clients, and that's truly what it means to put people first.

Does Your Real Estate Tech Make It Easy to Put People First?

If you're still devoting too much time to tedious tasks that could easily be handled by the latest real estate technology, there's a better way. DeltaNET®6, our all-in-one real estate solution, puts at your fingertips all of the tools you need so you can put people first. Make life easier for everyone by choosing the best real estate tech for the job.

April
7

Artificial intelligence is no longer just a sci-fi fantasy, a dream of data scientists, or a catchy buzzword. The technology for AI has developed so much in recent years that it's quickly making an impact on — and potentially reshaping — nearly every major industry. Real estate is certainly no exception, with AI already making its presence felt in both subtle and obvious ways.

Does that mean that agents will soon be largely replaced by AI, with little work left for humans to do? Fortunately, you can take a deep breath, exhale, and know that your job is not in danger from AI. The truth is that AI in real estate can save you tremendous time on monotonous, repetitive tasks, allowing you to spend more of your working hours on the things that matter most.

Let's start with the basics. When we talk about AI in the present day, we're not talking about an all-seeing, all-knowing computer like you've seen in movies or read about in novels. Today's AI is designed to handle specific tasks in a fast, reliable, consistent way. Here are some of the ways that AI can lighten your workload on repetitive tasks and create more time for you to serve your clients:

  • Keeping Clients Informed
    One of the ways that we're already using AI in DeltaNET®6 is to help you keep clients and prospects informed. With AI-driven email and print newsletters, you can easily keep your audience up to date on the topics that matter most to them. Create valuable, informative content and ensure that it always reaches the right person at the right time, without taking time out of your busy day.

  • Quickly, Conveniently Find the Documents You Need
    What real estate agent enjoys digging through court records and spending hours searching for relevant documents? If you're the one agent out there who enjoys that process, we're sorry to break the bad news. AI can now help you search through millions of documents in a matter of moments, saving time for both you and your clients.

  • Creating Better Virtual Open Houses, Showings, and Tours
    Digital tools like virtual open houses and showings, as well as virtual tours, have dramatically increased in popularity over the last few years. AI is partly to thank for this valuable real estate tech, which allows buyers to make informed decisions more quickly and creates new, powerful ways for sellers to market homes.

  • Identifying Homes Ready to Sell and Pricing Them More Accurately
    Wouldn't it be nice to know with confidence which homes in your market are most likely to sell in the next year? AI can help you do just that, by analyzing market factors as well as factors unique to each specific home. In addition to helping you identify opportunities to win new listings, AI can also help you finish the job by pricing the home more accurately.

  • Segmenting Leads and Reaching the Right Prospect at the Right Time
    AI excels at sorting through vast amounts of data quickly and reaching accurate, dependable conclusions much faster than we humans. Sounds like a useful skill for sorting through all of your leads, right? With the help of AI, you can more easily identify which leads are ready to pursue right now, which ones need nurturing, and which ones can be put on the back burner. Less time spent segmenting leads means more time to pursue the leads that are ready for action right now.

How Will You Invest the Time Saved by AI?

The examples above are just a few of the ways that AI can make life easier for real estate agents and dramatically speed up tasks that once took up far too much time. That means less work on the tasks that you probably didn't want to be doing anyway, but not less work overall.

Ultimately, the promise of AI in real estate is that you'll have more time to focus on the work that really matters. Think about every day that you've wished that there were just a few more hours to get done everything you needed to do. AI helps make that dream a reality without compromising on productivity or sacrificing your free time. All you have to decide is how to invest those hours that once went to tasks that can now be handled by AI.

The Future Is Bright for AI in Real Estate

One of the exciting things about AI is that despite the significant progress that's been made, we're still only scratching the surface of what the technology can do. The future is bright for AI integration in real estate, and we'll be sure to continue bringing you the best, most modern tech to help you thrive as a real estate agent.

April
4

This September, Delta Media Group® will launch DeltaNET 7, a new technology leveraging automation and artificial intelligence. DeltaNET 7 will be "the most customizable, most automated all-in-one platform in the marketplace."

"We will be launching the easiest-to-use, most automated CRM solution — and more importantly the deepest customization available — to give brokerages their own all-in-one platform that they control, making it completely unique from what their competitors are using," says CEO and owner of Delta Media Group, Michael Minard.

With DeltaNET 7, real estate brokerage customers will be able to create their own platform with individually customized branding and feature options, allowing them to have complete control over design and navigation.

One special feature that will be available with DeltaNET 7 is a way that brokerages can design specific "roles" to deliver a personalized experience for each agent, based on the specific tools they use. DeltaNET 7 also offers a mobile-centric and customizable workflow, eliminating "endless scrolling." And it allows you to create specific training courses for your platform through Delta Academy.

In addition, DeltaNET 7 is completely integrated with Delta Websites, which features patent-pending SEO, the Delta Academy training system, and a full catalog of digital marketing tools — including Ad Wizard, Local Showings, Properties in Motion, and Open House Connector.

"With DeltaNET 7, our highly successful integrations, automation, and artificial intelligence will be enabled by default. So instead of asking real estate brokerages what tech tools they want to feature, we will be coming to them with a data-driven success model giving them the ability to choose what they want to customize," says Minard. "This will help firms do more business in less time, utilizing data analytics that only the largest technology firms can provide."

The customizable technology will also introduce Delta Pitch, a new "two-click" Comparative Market Analysis tool. With this tool, when an agent enters a property address, the system automatically pulls all the data it needs to create a digital CMA, offering a "flip book" for agents to share with their clients. Delta Pitch then allows agents to automatically launch a Zoom video call to share and review the CMA with their client, making marketing presentations a very simple process for agents.

To learn more about how DeltaNET 7 will streamline your workflow and boost productivity, contact our team today.

March
29

With the eldest in their cohort entering their 40s, the Millennial generation is coming into its own. It's already the largest generation in the U.S. workforce. In recent years, it is also the top generation in both home buying and first-time selling.

Coming up just behind is Generation Z. Believe it or not, the oldest members of this generation are in their mid-20s. They're finishing college, launching careers, and starting families. One of the biggest success stories of the last few years is their strong showing in the housing market.

While Millennials were once wary of buying a home, they are tired of renting. On the other hand, Generation Z always had high hopes about homeownership. With a mindset that harkens back to their grandparents, they see buying a home as a critical goal for early adulthood.

Both these generations will continue to transform the world of real estate for years to come — and that starts with the adjustments agents and brokers need to make. No matter how skilled or experienced you are, you need a digital marketing strategy to connect with today's customers.

Virtually All Your Future Customers Start their Home Search Online — Are You There?

According to the National Association of Realtors, 95% of buyers reported using the internet to search for homes in 2021. On the other hand, just 7% of those surveyed said they touched a newspaper during their search. The typical first-time buyer was also relatively young, 33 years old.

Regardless of age, 41% of recent buyers started their search by going online to do their own self-paced research. Only 19% of buyers began the process by contacting a real estate agent. Once they did find an agent, 91% of buyers said that person was a "very" or "somewhat" useful source of information.

From the moment buyers first show interest in looking at a home, your digital marketing has a chance to hook their attention. The earlier you make first contact and provide value with useful online resources, the more likely you are to be the agent buyers ultimately choose.

Since many buyers don't reach out to real estate agents until well into their process, your #1 asset in gaining their trust is effective digital marketing. Every piece of digital marketing collateral you create makes it more likely you'll be found in online searches relevant to your business.

When you are found early, you can position yourself as a trusted expert and be there every step of the way. That becomes even easier than ever before with today's sophisticated digital marketing, such as video marketing — which spotlights the human touch and builds real rapport.

Let's take a closer look at some digital marketing "must-haves" for today's agents:

  • A Fast, Modern Real Estate Website
    Your real estate website is your digital first impression. A modern website is essential — people need to feel comfortable enough on your site to engage and look around. There are several planks to that. First, your website must be fast. Second, it should look great and navigate smoothly on mobile devices. When these foundations are in place, more people will review your resources and might reach out.

  • Plenty of Helpful, Informative Resources
    Blogging is an indispensable tool for the modern agent or broker. A short article from your experienced local perspective can make buying or selling easier. But what to write about? Simply look for problems and questions your customers have. For example, if you work mainly with first-time buyers, you might want to review and explain the different first-time homebuyer programs out there.

  • A Quick Way to Check Out Your Listings
    Listings can be passed directly from the MLS and integrated into your website. When listings are right on your website, you get additional information about how long people spent looking at each one and what features they clicked on. This will help you enhance your listings in the future, which will lead to faster and more lucrative transactions for your customers (and yourself!).

  • Real Estate Video Content
    Virtual tours boost listing engagement through the stratosphere, but they're only the start of what video can do. Video is the most popular content online, and it is especially sought after by younger website viewers. It's a wise idea to have video content that introduces yourself and your practice. Blogging by video also makes your content more shareable and much more memorable.

  • Social Media and Email Marketing
    Social media is a powerful way to start new buyer relationships, while email marketing keeps you in touch over the weeks and months it may take before a prospective buyer jumps into the market. If you're already blogging, you have plenty of content you can share on these channels!

Contact us today to accelerate your digital marketing with the power of automation.

March
24

There are so many modern tools to make life easier as a real estate agent, but jumping from platform to platform in order to take advantage of your tech can chip away at your productivity gains while making it harder to find the data you need, when you need it. The solution? A reliable, all-in-one platform that combines all of the tech you need in one convenient hub. Here's how to make your technology work together, and give your productivity a boost in the process.

Making your technology work together starts with embracing an innovative, simple all-in-one solution like DeltaNET®6. With the right real estate CRM, all of your technology and key client data are in the same place, always ready when you need them.

Relationship Management

Building great relationships with clients is at the core of real estate success, and your technology should make it easier to manage relationships effectively. That starts with having the data you need when you need it. With a real estate CRM, you don't have to worry about tracking down client data from notes and disparate sources. You will always have the most up-to-date information on your clients, with the data you need to provide great, personalized service at your fingertips.

Lead Segmentation and Nurturing

Of course, real estate technology isn't just valuable for maintaining relationships with current clients. It's also the key to generating, segmenting, and nurturing leads to help you bring in new business. Automated lead segmentation makes it easy to sort through your leads, determine where each lead is in the purchasing/sales process, and ensure that you reach them with the right message at the right time. You should also have access to lead nurturing tools like email drip campaigns, AI-driven newsletters, eCards & flyers, and email templates.

Marketing Properties and Connecting Clients with Homes

Marketing properties is more complex than ever, with so many different tools available to help you promote your listings and connect buyers with the right home. Start with virtual open houses and showings, which allow buyers to tour a home virtually no matter where they're located. Or spread the word locally with printable listing flyers. You can also keep your clients up to date on the latest happenings in their market with auto-generated My HomeFinder, Market Watch, and Seller Reports. Keep clients informed with the information they need, make it easier for buyers to search for homes, and show sellers all of the modern ways that you promote their listings.

Automation of Key Tasks

Your real estate technology should save you time, not take away valuable time from your busy day. Automating repetitive marketing tasks is one of the best ways to guarantee that you'll save time while ensuring that clients and prospects always get the most timely, relevant content for their needs. We've already covered many of the automation tools that your tech should include, like email drip campaigns, AI-driven newsletters, and auto-generated reports on real estate markets. All of these tools make your life easier and help you maximize your marketing opportunities.

Data and Analytics

In order for your tech to truly work together, you need access to data and analytics that help you make informed decisions. That includes keeping track of your own data on matters like email marketing, but also the data that your clients provide. With IDX search tracking as well as tracking for property searches, saved properties, and views, you can anticipate the needs of clients in order to provide them with the best possible service.

Real Estate Website

Just like you want your tech to work together in order to make your days more efficient, your clients and prospects want a real estate website that works together to provide everything that they need. That starts with IDX listing integration and MLS search to help them find the perfect home. You will also want real estate content, to provide advice, highlight your markets, and tell the story of your business. When your website has all of the features that your audience wants to see, it becomes a constant source of lead generation for your real estate brand.

Ready to Take Your Real Estate Tech to the Next Level?

If you're tired of being pulled in every direction by technology that doesn't work together, there's a better way. DeltaNET®6 makes it easier than ever to market your business, grow your brand, serve your clients, easily integrate with other popular tech platforms, and discover data-based insights that can help you thrive. You shouldn't have to choose between having great tech and having tech that works together. With the right real estate CRM, you get the best of both worlds.

March
18

Credibility matters in real estate. As a real estate agent, you want to start building trust with your target audience as quickly and effectively as possible. Trust matters to clients who are considering referring you to people within their own network and to prospects who are sorting through their many options to find an agent they can trust with one of the biggest financial decisions of their lives. Fortunately, there are more tools for building trust with technology than ever before for real estate agents.

Building Trust with the Right Technology

While there are many good, old-fashioned trust-building tips that still apply now as much as ever, we're going to focus on some of the many modern tools that make it easier to build trust with a tech-savvy audience. Not only can the right technology help you build trust, it can also make your life much easier in the process.

Know Your Clients and Their Needs

Most of our tips will focus on building trust with prospects, but it's wise to remember that the process of building trust with existing clients never really ends. One of the best ways to build strong relationships with clients is to remember who they are, their real estate goals, and the details of any interactions that you've already had with them. The right real estate CRM makes it much easier to keep track of all that data and guarantees that you have it at your fingertips whenever you need it.

Build a Great Real Estate Website

A great real estate website might not be the first thing that springs to mind when you think of building trust, but it's a critical factor in a number of important ways. First, modern real estate prospects simply expect any agent they're considering to have an appealing, informative, modern website. Most people start their search for an agent online, so they're more likely to choose an agent with a robust, engaging online presence than an agent with a dated website or no website at all.

But it's not just about being seen. As you'll see in the next few tips, your website is also the most reliable place to integrate much of the other trust-building technology on our list. It's where people will consume your content, be persuaded by your social proof, and discover why your brand is the right choice for their real estate needs. So if you don't have a website or your current one is a bit outdated, a fresh investment in your online presence can be a key first step in building trust.

Share Advice and Expertise with Real Estate Content

One of the most straightforward, dependable techniques for building trust and credibility online is to prove to your audience that you know your stuff when it comes to real estate. Creating informative, timely real estate content, whether it's a written blog post, video content created with your phone, or a mix of both, is the perfect way to show your expertise.

Provide real estate advice, analyze market trends, create neighborhood guides, share seasonal home improvement tips — basically, anything that your audience might be interested in learning about regarding real estate. When done right, your content will continue to build trust long after it's first published on your website.

Integrate Reviews and Testimonials

Few things are more trustworthy than a referral, and social proof essentially serves as a referral from an online source. Social proof consists of things like online reviews and client testimonials, which can have a major impact on establishing your trust with an online audience. But even if they're very happy with your services, a client won't necessarily think to leave a review or testimonial unless you ask. Once you have some reviews and especially testimonials, make sure to showcase them prominently on your website.

Build a Strong Social Media Presence

You likely already use your social pages for social media marketing, and that's a great place to start. But are you taking advantage of the other ways that you can build trust through social? As you build your social presence, you will have more and more opportunities to engage with your audience. That engagement is crucial to building individual relationships that can lead to business, and also for proving your real estate expertise to a wider audience. 

Build Trust and Save Time by Investing in the Right Real Estate Tech

For building trust with a modern audience, it's only fitting to use the most modern, up-to-date tools. With DeltaNET®6, our digital marketing services, and an excellent, customized real estate website, you can start building trust as soon as a prospect discovers your brand online. Make your life easier and generate more leads by investing in the right real estate tech to build trust with your audience.

February
24

Every year, billions of dollars are invested around the world in developing new tech that improves the real estate experience for agents, clients, and real estate firms. Millennials are quickly growing into the largest real estate demographic, and catering to a young, tech-savvy clientele will only accelerate the desire for new technology. And it's not as if people under 40 are the only ones glued to their favorite devices.

When new technology emerges, everyone involved in the real estate industry can benefit. Here are some potential tech breakthroughs that could emerge in real estate in the coming years, along with a few recent breakthroughs that are likely to stand the test of time.

The Continued Development of Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI has already helped the real estate industry accomplish some great things, whether you want to send timely, personalized reports to clients or develop a more accurate analysis of real estate market trends. But in many ways, we're only scratching the surface. The global investment in AI is immense, just like the future potential of the technology.

Consider the benefits of robust virtual assistants that can help guide clients through the process of buying or selling a home, taking some of the workload off of agents while providing a valuable service to clients. Already, some of the biggest real estate websites are also using AI to help match clients with the perfect loan, or the perfect home. Some of the biggest tech breakthroughs in the near future are very likely to involve AI and machine learning.

Streamlined Technology

With so much new tech emerging in recent years, one big breakthrough that we're already beginning to experience is the streamlining of real estate technology. With a real estate all-in-one solution like DeltaNET®6, you have the technology for managing leads, marketing properties, connecting with clients, and analyzing data in one convenient package. Expect the streamlining of real estate tech to continue as new tools are introduced, allowing agents to save time, increase productivity, and focus on what matters most.

Digital Documentation

Clients and agents alike dread the pile of paperwork that comes with closing on a home. Wouldn't it be nice if documents could be securely, reliably read and signed anywhere, from any device? The technology to do so is already emerging and should play a major role in real estate transactions in the coming years.

Taking Advantage of the Latest Tech

Focusing on the future is fun, but not at the expense of the present. Some of the tech that has risen in popularity during the pandemic is likely to remain important and be improved upon for years to come.

  • Virtual Tours, Open Houses, and Showings
    Partly driven by the pandemic and partly driven by the young, tech-savvy generation of new homebuyers, touring homes from afar has become more popular than ever. With virtual open houses and showings, you can help connect clients with homes no matter where they're located.

  • Marketing Automation
    Some of the latest advances in marketing automation make it easier to keep your pipeline stocked and save a ton of time in the process. From smart drip email campaigns to AI-driven, automatically generated newsletters, you have more tools than ever for automating key marketing tasks.

  • New Forms of Real Estate Content
    Advances in technology outside the real estate industry can also have a major impact. With smartphones able to capture higher quality video than ever and tons of great apps available for editing your content, now is the perfect time to see if you can become the next real estate video star.

  • Data Tracking and Analytics
    Whether you're tracking IDX search activity to learn more about the needs of your clients or tracking your marketing analytics to discover what works best for your brand, the easy availability of big data is key to thriving in the modern real estate industry. New technology can also make it easier to parse, analyze, and put that data to work.

  • Integration and Streamlining of Tech
    The best real estate CRM platforms already include integrations that make it easier to use all of your favorite tech in one convenient package. With so much focus on streamlining tech, this is one area to expect continued growth.

Where Will Real Estate Tech Take Us Next?

Just 5 or 10 years ago, it would have been hard to predict all of the game-changing tech that has shaped the real estate industry today. And that's part of the fun! While we can make educated guesses about AI and other new tech, there's always the possibility of a breakthrough that almost nobody saw coming. With such a substantial investment of brainpower and funds in creating breakthroughs, it will be exciting to see where real estate tech takes us next.

March
22

When it comes to training options for real estate technology, there are a few different schools of thought on what works best. Some want videos, others swear by user guides. At Delta Media Group®, we're big on easy, on giving you — the one using all of that tech — the power to transform your training into exactly what you want and need it to be. 

That's why we're thrilled to announce the launch of DeltaNET® Academy, available directly within the DeltaNET CRM. With DeltaNET Academy, users have access to slideshow-based training courses that break down Delta Media Group's industry-leading, all-in-one CRM and wealth of features to their basics, making them simpler than ever to understand. Only a few clicks and admins can easily:

  • Assign specific courses to specific sales associates
  • Send courses to an entire office to help them master certain tools
  • Use modules in multiple courses in order to spotlight tools more than once

Custom course creation also allows admins to set the metaphorical syllabus. Building your own courses is easy: Choose what you want to highlight and assign it to your team. Then, when a course is completed, associates can take a quiz to ensure they've got a handle on all the information. Plus, DeltaNET Academy tracks who's doing what within the system, so you'll know exactly where everyone stands. Consider it a progress report — we're sure everyone will be a pleasure to have in class.

Don't forget our promise of easy, either. DeltaNET Academy provides a user-friendly, intuitive platform that doesn't feel like a hassle or homework. We're still offering videos and guides, but we're also giving our clients more options with hands-on, engaging learning that gives the power of training back to brokerages. 

"When building DeltaNET Academy, we weren't looking for a tool that 'checks the boxes' when it comes to its capabilities," Director of Partner Success Harley Wolfarth says. "DeltaNET Academy gives our users control over course content, visibility, assignment, and even tests/quizzes while keeping those controls and settings in places where you expect to find them. We think we've made something that will make your life easier, not just because your agents and staff can be better trained by the courses you create, but because the process to create those courses is clear and easy as well."

Evolution is part of our Delta Media Group-DNA, so you can be sure we're already working on plans to expand the training offerings within DeltaNET Academy as well. And best of all? DeltaNET Academy comes without any extra cost. No hidden fees. No surprises. Just comprehensive training that gives you and your associates the knowledge to make real estate's most powerful CRM and tech tools work for you. 

No one wants to get schooled by their tech. So, jump to the head of the class with DeltaNET Academy and learn the ins and outs of Delta Media Group's game-changing features. 

"DeltaNET Academy is a platform to not only educate team members with pre-populated real estate CRM and marketing training, but it is also the platform to empower firms with the ability to create their own custom training programs for anything," Delta Media Group CEO/Owner Mike Minard says. "I'm excited to see how DeltaNET Academy transforms how real estate professionals leverage technology further as they are more empowered in their understanding of how much powerful technology is available to them today."

February
10

When it comes to success, momentum makes the difference.

Momentum is what turns a long, hard slog into a purpose-driven effort, even an adventure. No matter if you work alone or in a large brokerage, momentum is great for morale and protects against burnout. It provides a sense of direction and helps you deflect distractions.

Unfortunately, momentum can be difficult to build at first. Once you have it, though, it becomes much easier to sustain. In real estate, you have many opportunities to give yourself the tailwind that sets the stage for progress. At any size or scale, technology is the key.

Why Technology  Matters in Boosting Your Momentum

Momentum is forward motion. When you need to maintain forward motion over long distances, friction is your worst enemy. You can see examples of this in day-to-day life. For example, it takes an average of 23 minutes to get back on task after a distraction. Every distraction creates more friction.

As long as you're focused, it feels like you can go on forever. When the illusion is broken, not so much.

Luckily, today's best real estate technology is built around the idea of creating a seamless experience for everyone — buyers, sellers, and the professionals who serve them. Technology won't replace you (or the human touch). It simply sets you up to do more of what you do best, faster, and more effectively.

Let's look at some of the ways technology is smoothing the path to successful transactions.

Digital-First Approaches Are Here to Stay in Real Estate

Real estate was already making some promising forays into the digital realm in 2019. Then the pandemic hit. Of all the industries completely transformed by COVID-19, real estate moved the fastest. It had to — there was no other way to protect everyone involved in a transaction.

As it turns out, buyers and sellers alike love virtual tours and virtual open houses. Even as the public health situation changes, these are here to stay. Sellers no longer need to welcome crowds of strangers into a lived-in home. And buyers can expand their search radius without traveling any further.

What does it all mean for the real estate agent? Get comfortable in front of the camera and you can do a full tour more quickly and easily. Connect with the right title company and others and your customers can benefit from a complete digital closing experience. That's increasingly becoming a differentiator as Millennials step up their homebuying activity and Generation Z steps in.

All in all, that leads to seamlessly serving more people faster — and getting better results for everyone.

A Real Estate CRM Suite Gives You a Bird's Eye View of Your Customers and Contacts

Speaking of "seamless," there's nothing less worthy of the name than the old way of managing contacts. Only a few years ago, most real estate agents had filing cabinets stuffed with information on leads and prospects. It would take a day each week to figure out where everyone stood.

"Following up" usually meant calling on the phone, and that wasn't always welcome.

The right technology demystifies your network like never before. Customer Relationship Management for real estate is here. Not only can it centralize the details about everyone on your radar — it serves as an AI-driven center of excellence that scores your leads and cues you when and how to follow up.

The DeltaNET 6 CRM taps directly into your website to keep its finger on the pulse of your business 24 hours a day, whether you're awake or asleep. It can help you orchestrate outreach campaigns, including email marketing, social media, and much more — sending interest-based, event-driven updates to those on your list who want them most. That helps you cultivate your relationships seamlessly.

The Best Technology Is Indistinguishable from Magic – Today's Real Estate Technology Is Pretty Close

Today's buyers are ready to search for, evaluate, and close on a home completely on digital platforms. Sometimes, they do it from thousands of miles away. It's a brave new world out there — and with the right technology in your corner, you can do less and accomplish more.

How's that for momentum?

Today's real estate software has the potential to bridge distances in incredible ways and keep your key relationships humming even when you're otherwise occupied. It ensures you are always moving forward — and you end up with more hours in the day to do what matters most.

That may not be magic, but it's pretty close.

You can incorporate the next generation of real estate marketing automation into your business in as little as a few days and win back dozens of hours within just a few weeks. Contact us at Delta Media Group to find out more or get started.

January
20

No matter whether you're a solo real estate agent or work as part of a 100-person brokerage, you're sure to see new challenges in the coming year. The housing market is evolving fast. Buyers and sellers alike will be affected, and they'll count on you for the expertise to reach their goals.

Technology will be the key to adapting, growing, and flourishing in 2022.

Some agents worry new digital tools are diverting attention from the relationships at the heart of the industry. But good technology doesn't replace relationships; it deepens them by empowering you to communicate clearly and consistently with more people.

Real Estate Technology Is a Strategic Multiplier for Your Business

From the very beginning, the purpose of technology was to reduce human labor. Look at all the "simple machines" that the ancients came up with and this one factor ties them all together. The same is true of the best real estate technology available today, despite how sophisticated it is by comparison.

Equipped with the right technology, one person can do the job of many. A small team can stand toe to toe with one several times its size. In the past, it was not unusual for most of the benefits of technology to go to the largest organizations with the most resources — thankfully, that is no longer the case.

Even solo real estate agents working without a support network can now make an impact on their local market faster than ever. Growing, mid-sized firms should look to technology before raising headcount.

It's that powerful.

Where bigger brokerages leverage their strong brand awareness to increase market share, smaller ones need to differentiate on performance. Whatever special skills and unique talents you bring to the table, technology helps surface them and bring them to your ideal customers faster than you could before.

Let's look at some of the different ways that plays out in practice:

  • Technology Lets You Double Down on What You Do Best
    Brand values like empathy, availability, and even more concrete concepts like "customer experience" are not always simple to deliver in a concrete way. The right technology helps simplify and improve processes, identify the most important outcomes, and measure performance as your work evolves.

  • Technology Helps You Adapt to Changing Workplace Needs
    Real estate agents are notoriously known as "road warriors." With convenient, cloud-based technology, you can access all your relevant tools and data from anywhere in the world. That matters when you're in a long distance commute to get to a showing — or you need to work remote when the office is closed.

  • Technology Grants Unparalleled Visibility into Key Relationships
    It was not that long ago when real estate agents needed to dedicate hours each month simply to figure out when to follow up with leads and where customers stood in their transactions. A real estate CRM centralizes the data and uses artificial intelligence to cue you at the best times to follow up.

  • Marketing Automation Cuts Down Overhead
    Marketing automation streamlines the time-intensive processes behind developing and promoting your listings, events, and brand. That can save thousands of hours in a year while keeping you consistently in contact with leads and clients. Social media marketing alone may be cut from hours a week to minutes.

  • Market Intelligence Keeps You and Your Clients in the Know
    As an expert in your local area, clients trust your guidance about the top neighborhoods, properties, and even amenities. Technology tools like Market Watch Report capture relevant data in seconds and prepare it in the form of a branded report. Seller Reports are also available and just as insightful.

  • Technology Builds Brand Equity Through Effective, Enduring Resources
    Your email marketing list is one of your most valuable brand assets. It keeps you in touch with leads over the weeks and months before they start their transaction. Customized content can be sent out instantly to leads, current customers, and past customers based on the topics they are interested in.

  • Technology Boosts ROI When Money Is on the Line
    Online advertising can get eyes on your listings immediately. That can raise the sale price when a home is in demand — and rescue one that's floundering on the MLS. But it's not without risk. A tool such as Ad Wizard lets you develop and monitor ads fast and even helps you learn from your past performance.

Today's technology can't do it all for you, but it ensures you maximize your time spent on what really matters most — your customers, your strategy, and the value-added activities that move you toward your goals. You can get it all in a single high-performance AI-driven center of excellence for real estate.

Contact us to discover real estate technology that helps you get more done in less time at any size.

December
30

There are many ways to find success in real estate, but the most successful modern teams also share some very important things in common. One key commonality is that thriving teams prioritize the integration of tech in a seamless, accessible way to ensure that every member of the team can easily stay on the same page. Tech helps teams in so many ways, from managing leads to showcasing properties and automating key marketing tasks with the help of AI. Here's why teams do better with tech and why every real estate team deserves the best possible tools for the job.

Making Sure That Your Team Is on the Same Page with Tech

Before we get into some specific tech that can help your team thrive, it's important to look at how your team uses tech in general. No matter how great a tool might be, you can only maximize its value when your team is on the same page about when and how to use it. That's why it's so crucial to ensure that every member of your team is trained in how to use the tech that's relevant to their job, and that they're encouraged to use it.

Some sales associates will jump at the opportunity to integrate new tech into their workflow, while others may take some convincing before they make new tech a reliable part of their daily schedule. Encourage the use of tech by building confidence, showing your team the benefits, and training them so that they can make the best use of their real estate tech.

How the Right Real Estate CRM Can Help Your Team Thrive

Your real estate CRM is the hub for so much of the key tech that can help your team improve their efficiency and effectiveness. The right CRM will help your team with marketing, lead management, and all of the nuts-and-bolts tasks that are crucial to real estate success.

  • Manage and Segment Leads
    No matter which member of your team is serving a client or nurturing a lead, you want them to have easy access to all of the information that they need to provide excellent service. Your CRM is a place to store all of the information that you have on leads, so that it's always just a click away when your team needs it. Easily keep track of data on leads, automatically segment leads so that you can provide timely marketing/service, and ensure that your team has the data that it needs to turn leads into clients.

  • Track Lead Activity to Provide Personalized Service
    Some of the information on leads in your CRM will come from the interactions that your team members have with that lead, but the right CRM can also provide a wealth of additional lead information based on online activity. Track IDX search activity, along with property searches, saved properties, and views, so that you know exactly what type of property a lead is searching for before your team connects with them.

  • Automation and AI-Driven Marketing Tools
    Want your team to have more free time to do what they do best? Of course you do! Tech can help you there too, by automating key marketing tasks and making it easier than ever for your team to connect with clients. Use AI-driven newsletters to keep clients and prospects up to date on the latest real estate happenings. Automatically generate My HomeFinder, Market Watch, and Seller Reports. Use email drip campaigns to stay top-of-mind and SMS text messaging to connect with clients in a quick, convenient way.

  • Virtual Open Houses and Showings
    Your team deserves the best tools for promoting properties, and these days that means providing a variety of options for how people can experience those properties. Virtual open houses and showings make it easy for your team to showcase your listings while allowing buyers to tour listings online easily.

  • Mobile-Responsive Design to Work from Anywhere
    Combine the modern, work-from-home trend with the fact that real estate sales associates rely so much on their phones while working on the go, and it's easy to see why you want your tech to work just as well on mobile devices as it does on desktop computers. Mobile-responsive design ensures that your team always has access to their tech, whether they're in the office or on the road.

Does Your Team Have the Right Tech?

One more thing to remember about tech is that your team is more likely to embrace it if you provide them with the best possible tools. That's why our DeltaNET®6 real estate all-in-one solution is the best choice for your real estate team. We're constantly innovating with new tech to help your team thrive, and DeltaNET®6 combines everything that your team needs to succeed in one convenient package.

December
8

SEO — search engine optimization — is a suite of best practices aimed at two goals:

  • Raising your visibility in online searches relevant to your business
  • Giving people who visit your website a better, easier experience

Reaching the top of any significant Google search doesn't happen by chance. It's possible only when you practice search engine optimization throughout your website. Although it might seem like an intimidating prospect, SEO becomes much easier when you have the right resources in place.

SEO Is Your Key to Affordable Organic Leads for Your Website

Your real estate website is one of your most important assets. In fact, it's second only to you in its power to deliver business value.

It's true!

You're the star of your brand — and you'll always be at center stage. But there's one pesky thing about humans, even real estate agents: We have to sleep at night. Even when you're doing something else, your website is always hard at work on your behalf, introducing people to your brand.

Making your website work for you should be one of your biggest goals in 2022, especially if you're early in your career. A website that attracts, qualifies, and converts leads helps take a lot of the pressure off your business. You no longer need to hustle constantly for new prospects.

And that means you can spend time up-leveling your skills and deepening existing relationships.

All in all, real estate agents who don't find a way to create the right balance are on their way to burnout. The most reliable way to yield ROI from your website is to make sure it appears prominently in search, and the only programmatic way to do that is to practice SEO.

In our SEO services for real estate, we've consistently seen small, mid-sized, and large agencies reach thousands of new leads after implementing best practices in search engine marketing. That adds up to less than $10 per organic lead, just 0.001% of what a single transaction could be worth.

Even solo real estate agents can stand shoulder to shoulder with their larger competitors if they choose a long-term focus on SEO. Unlike online advertising, SEO delivers compounding benefits in organic traffic that are virtually free of charge. By comparison, ads stop working for you as soon as you stop paying.

Use SEO for months and even the wealthiest rival can't come along and reproduce your success.

And the sooner you get started, the sooner you'll see results.

How to Get Started with SEO for Real Estate

With DeltaNET 6, the premier CRM for real estate, you can get off to a running start on SEO. But even if you want to take a do-it-yourself approach, SEO isn't really as fearsome as it appears. By knowing some of the basics, you'll have much more power to influence your digital marketing's direction in the future.

Here are the fundamentals that will turn you into an SEO-savvy real estate agent:

  • Start by Understanding Who Your Ideal Client Is
    First and foremost, you have to know exactly what kind of client you want to attract to your doorstep. SEO requires content — helpful, informative material you publish on your website — and every piece of content is written for someone. That "someone" is your buyer persona. Who are they? What are their problems? What questions do they have? Write down everything you know about your ideal client. You'll use this information to help build out the strategy around your search engine marketing.

  • Then, Figure Out What That Client Searches For
    The goal of any good SEO campaign is to help your website rank near the top of Google results for relevant keywords. Keywords are the specific words or phrases someone types into Google when they're looking for information — for example, "real estate agent Austin TX." The more specific a keyword is, the less traffic it tends to have. But that can also make it less competitive and more pertinent to you. It's much easier to rank for "first-time homebuyers Austin TX" than for "real estate agent"!

  • Publish and Promote Terrific, Keyword-Informed Content
    Keywords are valuable because they help Google understand the purpose of a piece of writing, image, or video. But they're also there for the convenience of real, human readers. Keywords often don't tell you exactly what your article should be about — you'll need to match each keyword with a topic that's useful to your ideal clients. As you publish more of this valuable content, Google takes notice. Sharing it on social media will also help you attract more backlinks to your site, which drives even higher visibility.

Once you see results from SEO, you'll wonder how you ever did without it. Contact us to learn more about its role in real estate digital marketing.

November
29

Virtual tours took center stage in 2021 when agents from coast to coast needed to find new, more effective ways to protect their clients. But even as restrictions on travel and gathering draw to an end, they are still in high demand.

Virtual tours are convenient for buyers and sellers alike. Sellers no longer need to worry about inviting large groups of people into a home that's still occupied. Buyers have the opportunity to greatly expand the radius of their search without doing a lot of extra travel as a result.

Virtual tours were already starting to take hold prior to the pandemic, but they skyrocketed more than 750% in the month after shelter in place orders were enacted across the United States. Since then, they have seen steady adoption at agencies and brokerages of all sizes.

Now, virtual tours have been a regular part of doing business for more than a year. Time has taught the industry a lot. Homes with virtual tours get substantially more engagement than those without. In fact, visitors spend up to 10x more time on listings with virtual tours than those without.

What's more:

  • Property listings with virtual tours get clicked 40% more than listings with only still photos
  • 75% of all prospects asked said that they preferred virtual tours as a decision-making tool

But virtual tours can have a steep learning curve for agents.

How can you use them to the best advantage in your listings?

Six Ways to Make a Virtual Tour Easier and More Effective than Ever Before

It seems like there are new tech skills for agents to tackle every day — and let's face it, few people came to this industry from a past career as a videographer. But you can get a strong start with virtual tours by keeping a few simple ideas in mind. Even if you're already using virtual tours with some success, you can continue to improve by making sure the right fundamentals are in place.

Here's how:

  • Start With a Plan in Mind
    Every home is different, and it's up to your virtual tour to help you tell the story in the best way possible. This becomes easier with a little forethought. Walk through the house and put together a shortlist of all the features you want to highlight. Use your list to give yourself a miniature outline of how the virtual tour will work, letting you know precisely which elements to showcase in each room.

  • Prepare the Space Before You Begin
    Staging is just as crucial for a virtual tour as it is for an in-person showing. Make sure the rooms have been decluttered, including large furniture that could get in the way. Coordinate with your seller to ensure lawn work is taken care of and political signs are removed from the yard. Open curtains and shades on all the windows, and be sure to time your recording to benefit from natural light.

  • Find the Best Tools for the Job
    Using your smartphone for video is fine for social media, but a virtual tour should be more polished. The higher quality your video is, the better it will perform. Experiment with your options, including setting up a professional camera on a tripod or carrying one through the rooms with you. When it comes to aerial photography, it's often best to hire the services of an experienced drone photographer.

  • Help Your Virtual Tour Shine with Editing
    When they're still getting used to the process, most real estate agents record their virtual tours rather than streaming them live. If this describes you, you have the added bonus of being able to bring your tour to the next level with editing. This is ideal for cutting out any instances where you repeated yourself. It also gives you creative control over options like intro music and branding.

  • Use the Right Software
    Real estate virtual tour software like Properties in Motion can vastly accelerate the process of getting comfortable with virtual tours. Properties in Motion simplifies the matter by making it easier to create high-quality, branded videos complete with voice-over. It automatically pulls all needed details from the MLS, feeds videos to Facebook and your website, and makes it easy to track lead activity.

  • Implement Automation Elsewhere in Your Practice
    As with everything in real estate, virtual tours become easier when you have the right processes. If you find yourself spending a lot of time crafting the perfect virtual tour, don't beat yourself up over it: Lean into the learning experience. By implementing an all-in-one real estate solution like DeltaNET®6, you can introduce reliable, AI-driven automation to other parts of your business so you can spend more time where it is needed.

Contact us at Delta Media Group to discover just how easy good virtual tours can be.

November
11

Real estate technology is constantly evolving, with valuable new tools that can help agents better serve clients and run your business more efficiently behind the scenes. The most successful modern agents take advantage of the latest tools to make their lives easier, boost their business, and provide the best possible service for clients. So if you want modern agents, you need to have modern tools. Here are some key tools that you can use to help your agents modernize their habits and reach their full potential.

What Does It Mean to Be a Modern Agent?

If we have learned anything from the last couple of years, it's that being a modern agent means being prepared to adapt. Adapting to changes in technology, changes in how real estate business is transacted, changes in client habits, and changes in the wider world that impact the real estate industry. Embracing technology is the best way to adapt to all of those changes with confidence and stay up to date in the ever-evolving nature of the industry.

Changes in demographics, like the current trend of tech-savvy Millenials and Gen Z clients entering the real estate market for the first time, further stress the need to take advantage of the latest real estate technology. Modern agents are ready to serve clients in the ways that best fit their needs, and that means using real estate technology to make life easier for everyone involved.

Start with the Right Real Estate CRM

If you want to provide your agents with the best tools for the job, the right real estate CRM is the perfect place to start. Modern agents need access to reliable, accurate client data, marketing tools to generate new leads, and virtual tools that make it easier to conduct business in our modern world. DeltaNET®6 provides all of the tools that your agents need to serve their clients in one convenient package.

With DeltaNET®6, agents can easily manage relationships and generate new business. Take advantage of integrated email marketing, AI-driven newsletters, automated lead segmentation, and smart drip email campaigns to cultivate leads. Use SMS text messaging to stay in touch while making the most of virtual open houses and showings to accommodate modern clients. Track IDX search activity, integrate IDX listings, and track property searches to see what leads are searching for online.

And those are just some of the features that your agents will love when they dig into all that DeltaNET®6 has to offer.

Tap Into Your Artistic Side with Creative Studio

Modern agents wear many hats, which often means tapping into their creative side with things like listing brochures, flyers, email templates, and social media posts. Creative Studio makes it easy for agents to get creative, with accessible, easy-to-use graphic design tools that can give all of your marketing materials a professional shine. Easily design your own layouts, or use pre-designed templates to speed up the process while still getting great results.

Creative Studio also works well with DeltaNET®6, allowing you to quickly upload photos and listings directly from your CRM for a seamless design process. You can even store online versions of the materials that you create, have them sent to a print shop, and have the results delivered directly to your door.

Quickly Provide Accurate Valuations with Our AVM Report Platform

Business is booming in the real estate world, which is good news for real estate professionals but also presents some unique challenges. One of the biggest challenges that comes from a highly active real estate market is that there are major inventory shortages in many markets. Providing accurate valuations is always important, but especially so when inventory is so low compared to demand.

Our AVM Report Platform makes it quick and easy for agents to find the accurate valuation information they need, when they need it. They can easily catch up on the latest market conditions, quickly find the data that they need within the platform, and provide accurate estimates for clients from up to five independent sources. The reports that clients receive include multiple calls-to-action to generate conversions while providing them with the accurate, market-specific data that they value. It's all driven by AI, which helps the process automatically improve over time as it receives more data.

Help Your Agents Modernize Their Practices by Providing the Best Real Estate Technology

The bottom line: If your agents don't have the best tools for the job, now is the time to upgrade your real estate technology. The investment that you make in technology more than pays off with more efficient, modern agents and satisfied clients. From online marketing to relationship management and AVM, our team can provide your team with the tools that they need to thrive in the modern real estate industry. Contact us today to get started.

November
5

For years, Zillow has seemed like the big bad wolf of the real estate industry. Since the company's 2004 founding, Zillow has steadily expanded its reach into territories where only an experienced real estate agent could help you buy or sell a home. Now, the company garners millions of web visits a month and threatens the success of local real estate experts. And despite the news that Zillow is shutting down its homebuying business, that doesn't mean the company will go away — nor does it mean other competitors won't try to achieve the same goals as Zillow but with better efficiency.

The good news is that tactics like Zillow's haven't been tested by time the same way those of the traditional agent have been. In fact, you have an advantage over Zillow and all the other online real estate companies that want to be on top: you're a real-life expert that buyers and sellers can trust. With that in mind, Zillow-proofing your business is not only possible, it may even come easy! Here are 5 steps for taking on Zillow.

  1. Be Powerful
    Your brand is far more meaningful in your community than those of the online companies. In fact, you may be more of a household name than you realize. You can increase your brand recognition with clean and effective website design. Effective SEO will also keep you on top of your market digitally, even to the point where you can compete and surpass Zillow for top spots in search results.

  2. Be Efficient
    Efficiency in the digital age means spending less time on routine tasks and spending more time utilizing your unique skills. With an all-in-one real estate solution like DeltaNET®6, you can automate away pesky and time-consuming tasks while generating more and better-qualified leads.

  3. Be Creative
    Taking advantage of cutting-edge software and services doesn't mean letting go of the wheel completely. With a powerful online creative studio, you can fine-tune promotional flyers and brochures to your liking. That way, you can ensure your personality and messaging shine through without needing to be a graphic design wiz.

  4. Be Reliable
    Everyone is skeptical of faceless companies, but when a client can put a name and personality to their real estate venture, they'll be far more trustful knowing a real person cares about their experience. Automated text messages may seem impersonal to someone who's never used them, but their power comes from being able to stay in contact with clients and allowing clients an easy way to get in touch with you when they need a more in-depth consultation.

  5. Be Different
    It's always good to make yourself stand out, but it's also important for your clients to know exactly what makes you different. With the right tools, you can focus your energy on providing clients with the expertise you've earned through years of connecting families with homes.

          For more tips on how you can Zillow-proof your business, contact us today.

          November
          2

          Real estate has come a long way in a very short time.

          Looking back on the history of our industry, it's easy to get distracted by the profound changes of the last few years. With the start of the pandemic, agents and brokers at all levels needed to completely rethink their business to keep themselves and their clients safe.

          Even though the public health situation is beginning to change, real estate thought leaders still focus lots of attention on the new best practices revealed by this situation. While that is important, it's crucial not to miss the forest for the trees. In truth, real estate has been in a period of flux for over a decade.

          Even though those changes have unfolded gradually, they are all driven by the same thing:

          Changing customer preferences.

          Zoom out from the pandemic and take a look at the longer trends, many of which were accelerated in 2020. Gone are the days when new buyers would look for real estate agents in the phone book or drive around the neighborhood to spot any "For Sale" signs in front yards.

          In-person outreach is still effective and it isn't going away, but the great majority of future customers will find you online. Most new home searches start online. The younger a customer is, the more likely they are to have a "digital-first" mindset — but elders are getting involved in growing numbers.

          This gives agencies and brokerages unprecedented power to attract the right leads to their door.

          Today's Real Estate Experts Need to Look Toward Data-Driven "Scientific Marketing"

          Scientific marketing describes an approach to marketing in which data is used to create hypotheses, test assumptions, and make continuous improvements so you can allocate your budget toward the initiatives that make the greatest impact on your bottom line.

          All businesses that operate online face some of the same challenges. Data provides the answer to both today's issues and tomorrow's. For example, there's no point in posting on Twitter if all of your leads come from LinkedIn. By comparing ROI across channels, you can optimize your investments.

          But where, precisely, does the data come from? And what's the ultimate goal?

          In real estate, most of the data you collect and apply to your business helps you with lead generation. Your digital assets have the power to attract the right leads to you 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Your website is at the center of that effort. Every visitor to your site offers you a trove of data.

          Your analytics suite is the software that helps you transform that data into actionable insights.

          What Is Analytics Software and How Does It Work?

          In modern real estate, analytics takes place on two levels:

          • An analytics suite runs on your website, so you understand how people are using it
          • Your CRM uses AI-driven analytics to help you qualify and follow up with your leads

          These two systems often work together. For example, the analytics suite on your website can keep track of the exact blog articles someone has read. Your CRM then compares these activities to the behavior of leads who converted into customers in the past.

          When a strong match is found, an AI-driven CRM can let you know — helping you follow up at the right time and in the right ways. With a clear understanding of a lead's individual interests, you have the opportunity to craft truly personalized correspondence and start a meaningful conversation.

          Machine learning and artificial intelligence empower today's analytics software to make connections that would be invisible to even the best-trained human analyst. A centralized, "all in one" CRM may have the capability to evaluate not just thousands, but millions of data points in search of a pattern.

          The practical benefits are twofold:

          • You are more likely to connect with people who are ready to convert and close an agreement
          • You can save hours every week you would otherwise spend keeping track of leads and clients

          Step Into the CRM Age: Better Performance with Less Manual Labor

          Another critical benefit to artificial intelligence is the sharp reduction in manual data entry.

          Not only does this mean less time spent typing in names, dates, and figures, but it will also narrow the scope of human error. That's vital when you're working with email marketing, online advertising, or any other scalable system where you might be in contact with dozens, hundreds, or thousands of people.

          There's no need to take an artisanal approach to everything you do: Data makes life easier and doesn't call on you to sacrifice quality. DeltaNET®6 is today's state-of-the-art solution that not only collects data but highlights the lessons buried within, so your business can act right away.

          Contact us to learn more.

          October
          26

          According to research by RISMedia, the most popular technology stack for real estate agencies and brokerages includes these elements:

          • Lead generation and referral services (29.6%)
          • Task and time management tools (31.1%)
          • Aerial photography (25.8%)

          These correspond with three big concerns real estate pros have: Developing new business, maintaining efficiency in the office, and ensuring properties have terrific listings. Add a dedicated real estate CRM to the mix, and you are ready to really shine.

          Technology enhances your capabilities, helping you do more of what you do well and reducing time you spend on routine tasks. Combined with the versatility real estate pros bring to the table and the industry's natural diversity, it empowers you to excel no matter what the market throws at you.

          But there's one problem: To reap the benefits, everyone has to be on the same page.

          Why Even Great Technology Rarely Changes Your Business Overnight

          Solo agents working alone in the home office often have more success implementing and using new technology than their colleagues in large teams. The individual needs to conquer the learning curve, but once that's done, it's easy to get nearly 100% of the potential value from technology.

          On the other hand, large teams can face an uneven roll-out when it comes to technology.

          Even a highly efficient company that's driven by best practices can fall behind if everyone has a different idea about what their software does, when to use it — and, most importantly, when to work around it. The more people avoid a platform or use their own solutions, the more confusing it all gets.

          Software doesn't just make things faster. It gives everyone a common frame of reference, including the same workflow and the terminology to get the job done right. This is especially crucial when multiple professionals need to work together to bring a transaction to a successful conclusion.

          The key to making a smooth transition is to understand how technology relates to change management.

          Recognize Your Team's Early Adopters and Passive Resistors

          In 1962, sociologist Everett Rogers published Diffusion of Innovations, one of the most widely cited works in the social sciences. The book was built around the idea of the Rogers Diffusion Curve, which stated that, within any organization, five different orientations to change would be represented:

          • Innovators (2.5%)
          • Early Adopters (13.5%)
          • Early Majority (34%)
          • Late Majority (34%)
          • Laggards (16%)

          Innovators and early adopters are those most likely to embrace new technology. They do so not for its own sake, but because they clearly see and understand the value proposition it offers, whether that's speed, efficiency, accuracy, or whatever else it might be.

          On the far end of the scale is the "passive resistor." This is not simply a "laggard" who will come around to new things in time. Instead, passive resistors demonstrate a commitment to things the way they are, often because existing approaches have proven successful for them in the past.

          When decision-makers in an organization introduce a plan to use particular software and do things in a certain way, passive resistors are those who demonstrate lukewarm compliance. They might go right on using their preferred methods, which makes your business less efficient and less secure.

          Getting Off to a Strong Start with New Technology

          "Because I said so" rarely works on children, and it's just as useless with many adults. So, it's important to communicate about technology plans and lead change in a measured, respectful, transparent way. Only once such steps have been taken should active monitoring for compliance be used to close the gap.

          Here's how to get started:

          • Recruit Your Early Adopters as Evangelists
            During the selection and implementation process, some people will have more contact with the new technology than others. They will also be the first to see concrete changes and real results. Let the most enthusiastic colleagues take point communicating the value at stake to their less eager colleagues.

          • Have a  Communication Strategy in Place
            Depending on the size of the team, different communication methods may be appropriate in the run-up to a big technology change. Try to use multiple methods, and be sure to create opportunities to ask questions, whether in the form of a town hall meeting, one-on-one, or another appropriate venue.

          • Use the Power of Internal Mentoring
            Software vendors can provide detailed training on every aspect of their solutions, but they are usually on-site only a short time. Identify your "power users" — often the same as your early adopters! — and find out who is willing to spend some time helping others in the organization sharpen their skills.

          New technology may take some getting used to, but it can mean the difference between an average year and blockbuster results. Contact us to learn more about optimizing your use of real estate technology.

          September
          20

          Don't let that headline fool you. Despite the title of it, my article for this issue of Real Estate Marketing and Technology doesn't focus simply on technology itself or what's available to you and your real estate company these days, but rather on the management of technology.

          With so many options on the market and seemingly more appearing constantly, getting a handle on everything tech-related can be an occasionally daunting task. Try not to let it all overwhelm you. Putting all your tech-ducks in a row doesn't have to be a challenge, and, sometimes, it can even be a marker of your company's evolution.

          So was the case with Delta Media Group®.

          Twenty-one years ago, I was one of the primary software developers at Delta Media Group, a role I remained in even as my overall job with the company grew and I took on the position of President. Many of you can relate to this as you have grown your own business. At one point, in your yourself being active as a salesperson, accountant, secretary, and even janitor at times. Basically, you do what you have to do to make your business work, and I did the same at Delta.

          However, as Delta continued to grow in size, I ultimately evolved into the role of CEO and Visionary of the company. From this perspective, I am still actively involved in the development of the products but at a much higher level. Needless to say, today, I no longer do any software coding.

          I share all of this because, in the past two weeks, I found myself, as CEO and Visionary of Delta Media Group, playing with various aspects of our technology offerings. I wanted to personally experience our technology as a user and see if I felt that the technology was delivering what I thought it should be delivering or if things need to change in order to serve our clients better.

          Using various aspects of DeltaNET® 6, just like any brokerage or sales associate would, I found myself with two persistent and prominent thoughts. The first is that I was amazed at how much functionality exists today in the system and how mature the technology is. The second is that there are some small things that needed to be addressed, in addition to the large things, that would make the experience so much better. By working my way through the tech, I noticed little things that could be improved, all of which could come together to create a much better product on a much larger scale. I was thinking of good to great and cool to amazing!

          And, this brings me to the subject of this article: Getting the most out of your technology. I have a thought for you and a suggestion.

          But first, in order to understand that thought and suggestion, I want to consider our approach to rolling out our technology. Today we spend time primarily doing two things for sales associates when we train them during our onboarding process.

          The first thing we do is spend about 30 minutes getting them excited about their new technology stack. Most of this presentation centers around all of the cool things that are now available to them; from a CRM standpoint, from a marketing standpoint, from a social media standpoint, from videos to customizable flyers, and all the automations. None of this presentation is a "how-to" type of instructional session. Instead, it is full of visuals and focuses on running a business as a sales professional. It is as far away as possible from a presentation about technology because the sales associates are tired of hearing about technology. Instead, they want to know what they can do with it.

          The second thing we do is spend about 30 minutes showing the sales associates how to customize all their settings and set up all their automations, so they are custom-tailored to each one of them. The whole idea is that sales associates today will spend about 30 minutes configuring all their "stuff," their "technology," and from that point forward, it is doing the work for them, saving them time, and helping them actually run their business.

          The reason I outline this training is because this training has been massively accepted and endorsed by the sales associates since we implemented it about a year ago. They like it so much because it is all about their experience in their own business coupled with configuring the tools to do exactly what they want them to do for them. In addition, customizing the tools for their business allows sales associates to manage their technology without feeling as if they're stressing over it.

          So, my overall thought for you is this: When was the last time you, personally, experienced the business side of your business? I'm talking about the experience of your customer, your sales associate. What would it be like to put yourself in their shoes for a moment? And what do they want when they use the technology your business offers?

          I ask this because to get the most out of your technology, you have to make sure that your sales associates are able to do business in the most efficient manner possible, using the technology solutions being provided to them by you.

          I would suggest that you need to do what I see most, if not all, of our large firms doing. They spend an extensive amount of time, generally on an annual basis, combing through their technology, cleaning it up, automating it, upgrading it, connecting it, and personalizing it to their market and their sales associates. Taking the time to truly examine your tech — and determine what else you need or what changes need to be made — is a crucial step in helping your business grow.

          I suppose I will close this out by saying that while it's easy to see tech as a daunting foe, the purpose of good technology is to assist your day-to-day life. In business or otherwise. So, take a moment to look at it all from a different perspective. To consider what's working and what isn't and keep this in mind while you do; a little bit of advice I remember hearing from Zig Ziglar when I went to see him speak 20 years ago: Inspect what you expect.

          September
          21

          Data is a big topic — not only in real estate but in every industry where digital technology offers insights.

          Data can seem esoteric and opaque to gregarious, relationship-focused real estate professionals. But you don't have to be a data scientist to make sense of it all. Instead, you need the right tools to connect those figures with your business outcomes.

          Data is crucial in real estate because, as in other selling professions, it provides an objective source of truth to fact-check expectations against results. When challenges arise, it's no longer necessary to fill in the blanks with "hunches" or "gut feelings."

          Instead, you can know precisely where your limited time, energy, and budget are best spent.

          That means you can continuously, consistently improve.

          No single piece of data is a North Star. You'll need data from a variety of sources. Synthesizing them, you can create a total picture of your business. That leaves you with less ambiguity to navigate and a much shorter path to actionable plans.

          Let's see how it all comes together.

          The Biggest Types of Data You'll Use in Real Estate

          It wasn't long ago when real estate agents had access to very little data. They would meet people, follow up, and track the outcomes of their conversations. Between encounters, however, the lead's mind was unknowable. Even if it seemed like leads were moving forward, it wasn't necessarily the case.

          Then, as today, it could take weeks or months for a lead to dive into the market. There were few high-touch, low-effort ways of staying connected until that happened. Phone calls and in-person meetings were the norms. By comparison, today's leads provide an enormous amount of data.

          That's just one area where data has clarified the picture. Let's zoom in on the crucial types of data that shape the real estate world:

          • Lead & Customer Data
            Every time a lead visits your website, reads an email, or looks at your listings, you learn more. You often get this information directly from a Customer Relationship Management suite which, in concert with your website or other digital properties, helps you track some key questions: How leads find you, what they do on your site or social media, and when and how you should follow up to build the relationship.

          • Property & Listing Data
            Modern MLS interfaces are tuned into data as well, giving you a deeper and more granular view of what appeals to buyers. Individual websites use this data to communicate with visitors about which listings are popular and highlight the ones that offer video, virtual walk-throughs, and other features. At the same time, they provide you a tantalizing glimpse into the thought processes behind buyer decisions.

          • Analytics Data
            No matter what software collects your data, there is a second level to be aware of: Analytics. Analytics is a broad term for a platform that converts raw data into insights. For example, to get the most data from your website, you need an analytics solution running in the background. This helps you recognize which venues are sending the most traffic to your website and what content most appeals to your audience.

          Three Steps to Leverage Your Data for Greater Success

          Ask data scientists and they'll tell you data is always increasing in two ways:

          • Velocity: Data is being generated and communicated faster
          • Volume: More data is being generated from more sources

          As time goes on, these effects increase and compound one another. Luckily, you don't have to worry about vast oceans of data. With sound processes, you'll stay laser-focused on finding and using the data most relevant to your prospects, leads, and customers. That, in turn, propels your business forward.

          • Understand Where You Need Data From
            Start by identifying your sources of data. Every time you post a listing, you want to be sure you know what data is collected, which metrics matter, and how to access that information. Make the connection in your mind between the different data sources at your disposal and the lead or customer's journey.

          • Pull It All Together into a Singular View
            DeltaNET 6 is the all-in-one real estate solution designed to pull disparate data together into a centralized view. With its built-in lead tracking and marketing functionality, it helps you see how each contact responds to your online marketing initiatives. With precision data, a timely and personalized follow-up becomes easy.

          • Take Time to Implement Lessons Learned
            With data, you'll know more about your contacts than ever. Some data has obvious uses: Understanding exactly what someone's looking for in a home, for example. Other examples take creativity but are just as valuable in brand-building: Knowing what blog topics hit the spot with readers and publishing more.

          Delta Media Group helps you achieve repeatable, reliable marketing and growth through data. Contact us to find out more today.

          July
          29

          When it comes to "Technology Adoption Rates," I have seen a plethora of articles from technology vendors as to what should be expected from brokers/owners. Some vendors in the marketplace boast an eye-popping 90%+ agent adoption rate for using technology tools. Other vendors settle for adoption rates as low as the 30% mark. After years of analyzing trends and data from brokerages utilizing the DeltaNET® tools, I believe that I can share what should be the honest, realistic answer.

          First and foremost, we must address what the definition of "adoption" is. In the context of technology adoption, the definition provided by Merriam-Webster is "the act or process of beginning to use something new or different." The reason I bring up this definition is because you will find an abundance of varying opinions when it comes to technology vendors advertising their adoption rates. I am choosing to follow the worldwide accepted definition of adoption for this article.

          I have found throughout my tenure educating real estate professionals that the word "training" has quite a strong negative connotation. Nobody wants to sit through another 2-plus hour training course detailing the latest technology being deployed by their brokerage. The fact of the matter is that real estate agents endured a bevy of technology rollouts over the last 20 years, all of them driven by dozens of factors. Asking your agents to sit through another new technology class to learn something new is an uphill battle. Our philosophy at Delta Media Group® is that technology needs to be intuitive, and it needs to work for you. The question isn't "How do I use this technology?" but "What does this technology do?"

          Inside the DeltaNET® 6 CRM, which is the underlying technology I will share adoption numbers for, we've focused on innovating how agents think about technology tools. Most CRM trainings focus on the step-by-step process of conducting various aspects of the platform: Click CRM, select customers, select add new customer. Within the DeltaNET 6 CRM, that 3-step process is accomplished simply through our patent-pending "Quick Actions." Rather than the agent needing to know HOW to add a customer to the system, they can simply type into the quick actions bar "Add Customer," which will bring that feature directly onto the page they are working from. It transforms our training from a "Here's how you do " type of training into an "As long as you know what the system can do for you, it just works" type of training. 

          The other differentiator I wanted to share before I dig into our true adoption numbers is that our CRM is not a simple "what you see is what you get" solution. We designed our entire intranet platform to be customizable for each unique brand and brokerage partnering with us. That means if you want to "white-label" the DeltaNET to look and feel more like an internal tool developed by your organization rather than an out-of-the-box third-party CRM, that is possible. As just one example, one of our partners, Coldwell Banker Real Estate Group, based near the Chicago region, launched the DeltaNET as the "Galaxy" platform. Their agents don't just have the DeltaNET CRM; they have a version called the "Star CRM." This type of customization encourages agents to utilize the unique tools provided by their brokerage as they won't find that same experience elsewhere.

          So what is a realistic and accurate adoption rate for new technology being implemented throughout a brokerage? In my experience, the vast majority of brokerages follow what I call the "30-30-30 rule." 30% of agents are begging for new tech and tools to use. They are usually a part of the younger crowd and are the people who should become your champions of tech, pushing how amazing it is through the rest of your organization. This is the group that should be primarily involved in the decision-making of any new tools you are looking to bring into your suite of services.

          The second 30% of users are what I call the inbetweeners. They could really go either way. Any adoption/training strategy should focus on getting as many of this group on board as possible. They are the career real estate professionals who fall right in line with NAR's standards for a real estate agent. They do a healthy number of annual deals and are committed and focused on improving their careers. Your job as a leader should be focused on getting this core group of users excited about your tech tools, as they are the crowd that focused training strategies will really resonate with.

          The final 30% of users are the group that you are better off leaving to their own devices. Even as I write this, it sounds harsh. Still, any professional in a leadership position within a brokerage understands that the reality of running a real estate company means you will have a group of agents that just will not use the technology or marketing services offered by your firm. This group of agents is primarily made up of those holding a real estate license more as a hobby than as their career. They may have a handful of transactions each year, but they are not really focused on growing their own business. Being an agent is a post-retirement career or a second job for many in this group, so taking time out of their day to learn a new technology tool just isn't appealing. You likely won't ever get them to engage.

          That last observation is not in any way meant to be disparaging to those agents or to display a defeatist attitude. I believe in business there is no better way to convey an open and honest conversation than by trusting the data and having a dialogue about what it shows. Logical thinking often wins out on emotion in the realm of business.

          Something that I often hear in my "30-30-30 rule" conversations is a question regarding the remaining 10% I haven't already discussed. What I've found is that the remaining 10% of agents typically fit into one of those three categories I mentioned above, but where they fit changes based on the culture of the brokerage. Many smaller boutique brokerages have a stronger technology adoption rate because they have technology spread within the company's DNA. It's a part of their recruiting efforts. Many legacy independent organizations have a lower adoption rate because the top producing agents in the organization have been using a strategy that has worked in their business for 30-plus years, pre-dating the modern tech trends.

          So what is the healthy and realistic adoption rate for a new technology offering within a real estate brokerage? Our data shows that 60% is the magic number you want to push your team to achieve. If you can get 60% of your agents logging into your technology platform and taking advantage of the services you provide, then that's a win. Many CRM's on the market have key automations built in that can help all agents capture more business, but we believe automation should be defined as "the process of using something new." Our automated technologies, such as automated newsletters like our My Customer For Life campaign, automatically-generated social media posts, automated task lists driven by agents' clients, and more, all qualify as something new.

          I'll conclude with some real data from one of our brokerage partners that has been using our technology within their organization for the last three years. This firm has more than 600 agents in its company and ranked in the top 150 brokerages within the RealTrends Top 500.

          In the seven days before this article was written, 455 out of 653 agents logged into the platform and performed CRM-related actions (70% of total users). In the previous four weeks, 567 of their 653 active agent accounts logged in and interacted with the technology tools within DeltaNET 6. That is 86% of agents regularly engaging every month with their brokerage-provided CRM/lead generation system. Do you see those types of numbers within your toolset? If not, please consider reaching out to me for a consultation.

          July
          13

          As a real estate agent, odds are you didn't pick this career so you could write the next great American novel.

          But, just like marketing, writing is a skill that virtually all real estate professionals need to develop. In fact, you could find yourself writing several hundred words every month depending on your goals.

          Don't worry — that's nowhere near as much as a full-time writer, who may need to put out 50,000 words a week to meet deadlines. But it is substantial enough that sharpening your writing skills will make a difference. After all, your ability to craft your real estate listings with the right words is one of the things that makes them so appealing. You have the opportunity to dazzle your visitors, capture attention, and engage all of their senses.

          Often, this is the necessary first step before someone books a tour or registers with an open house.

          Whatever the case, you don't need to have straight As in high school English to be an effective real estate writer. Even if you snoozed through Rhetoric & Composition in college, you can still bring your skills up to snuff.

          After all, you won't be writing five-paragraph essays in real estate. Instead, you'll be conveying in words what you already understand about your ideal clients. If you know their interests, wants, and needs, you can reflect those in your word choices.

          The same is true of anything you write about your brand and virtually any other topic. The question is this: how can you accelerate that learning process if you've never written actively before?

          Getting Ready to Write: Tips to Put You in a Writing Mindset

          • Write with Your Purpose in Mind
            Copy is writing with the purpose to persuade. When you create copy, you are trying to guide your leads from wherever they are now to the next step in buying or listing a home. With that in mind, the first thing to do is define your purpose. What do you need your reader to do next? Choose every word to further that goal.

          • Tell a Story About Your Listings
            What makes a listing special? What details about its history, location, or features can you weave together to make someone say, "This is the one"? You might find yourself writing about what it's like to walk down the tree-lined street in the neighborhood or relax by the in-ground pool. All these details add panache to your story.

          • Include Sensory Details
            Real estate is highly visual, thanks to all the wonderful photography. As a writer, you can also appeal to other senses. If a listing has a big yard, it might call to mind the crackling of meat on the grill, the smell of barbecue, or the sound of songbirds playing in the trees. This fires up leads' imaginations to make them think of home!

          Technology Tools for Real Estate Agents to Up Their Writing Game

          Spelling, grammar, and punctuation are not exactly the most interesting subjects. Even the vast majority of pro writers don't get energized thinking about them. They are simply a framework to help you communicate your ideas clearly. If any one of them is missing, it makes your copy harder to understand at a glance.

          Once you have an idea, you need to execute it. These tools can help:

          • Grammarly
            Grammarly is a writing coach that goes beyond the spelling and grammar check of a tool like Microsoft Word or Google Docs. It identifies many common issues, like wordiness and passive voice, that are easy to overlook. It also explains why something is incorrect, enabling you to learn as you go.

          • GrammarLookup
            GrammarLookup bills itself as a free alternative to Grammarly. In addition to its full-featured punctuation and grammar database, it uses AI to learn continuously. It can be used through your favorite browser and does not even require registration. All you have to do is copy and paste your text.

          • ProWritingAid
            ProWritingAid comes in the form of a free browser extension or a paid desktop version. In addition to grammar and spelling, it works as a style editor that helps you ensure your writing is right for your audience. Packed with 20 in-depth writing reports; its goal is to make you a better writer fast.

          • Ginger
            Ginger is a popular spelling and grammar checker that can interface easily with your social media, email client, and many website editors, including WordPress. It even has fully featured mobile versions that will sync up between platforms. Terrific if you need to tap out social media posts or email replies on your phone!

          Writing can seem intimidating, but it doesn't have to be. Simply imagine that you're talking to a client face-to-face and you can go far. To learn more about using the latest digital marketing technology, contact us.

          July
          9

          For years, CloudDelta™ has been a great resource for easily sharing secure files quickly with your team. It helps your company save time, money, and valuable resources when all the documents you need are accessible in DeltaNET 6™, the all-in-one solution for your real estate businesses.

          Delta Media Group's secure cloud-based management tool ensures you don't need to email large documents to your agents, and you don't need to worry about yet another third-party system you have to support — with one login, you have all the tools you need for digital success.

          Here are some of the features CloudDelta™ users already know:

          • Only pay for the storage your business needs.
          • Administrators control which files your team has access to. Have peace of mind knowing users can only access and see files they should.
          • Reports showing all files in the system, when files were last updated, and how many times they've been downloaded.
          • Create your own YouTube video library. Share all of your training videos in one location.
          • Easily find files via any web browser. The built-in file quick search makes it simple to find files and folders by name or keyword.
          • Bookmark and share useful websites with your company. Keep a list of helpful, industry-important sites for your entire company all in one location and always up-to-date.

          At Delta Media Group, we strive to bring our clients the best products, which is why we're constantly listening to feedback and thinking of ways to make improvements. Even when we think we have something great, we acknowledge our products will evolve over time, as everything does. With CloudDelta™, we've targeted some areas where we could improve form and function, and we're happy to announce this tool is getting a big update!

          Here are upgrades coming to CloudDelta™ you can get excited about!

          • Updated, modern interface.
          • Larger thumbnails and "back create" thumbnails for all files.
          • List view and gallery view options.
          • Tree view support.
          • File path view for files as they are being viewed.
          • Faster searching.
          • Favorite files and have a favorites section.
          • The ability to view files (Presenter Mode) more easily.

          We look forward to the feedback from these upgrades. If you have questions about getting the most out of your real estate technology, contact us today.

          June
          29

          "Silence, brand!"

          If you've spent much time on social media over the last few years, you've probably seen this answer to branded content. It's a snappy retort to what many see as the increasingly unctuous and unwelcome expansion of corporate narratives into social spaces, leaving us subject to advertising seemingly every minute of every day.

          To a growing number of people — including many of your future customers — the idea that Wendy's is our wisecracking hipster friend or we're "in this together" with Toyota or United Airlines isn't just unconvincing: it's downright nauseating. The more brands clamor to sound just like us, the more robotic and intrusive it all feels.

          Many internet users are covering their ears and averting their eyes rather than engage with it.

          Into this world of "corporate personhood" run amok steps the real estate agent or broker.

          It's a well-known fact that many real estate agents get a substantial quantity of their leads by promoting their listings on digital channels, especially social media. Some experts have estimated that out of all professional industries, real estate experts are the most active on social media.

          Going without a robust online presence simply isn't an option. The question, then, is how you can humanize your digital business. Luckily, you have some natural advantages that can serve you well.

          The Human Connection Just Comes Easier for Real Estate Agents

          Luckily, you have the potential to go right where so many others go wrong.

          Real estate professionals stand out from the pack online for a variety of reasons:

          • Meaningful, 1-to-1 relationships are at the heart of all they do
          • By practicing their skills, they help others to achieve life goals
          • Their local knowledge, style, and passion are unique to them

          With all of this in mind, you should get excited about the huge potential the digital world holds in store. Your consistent, trustworthy online presence is an extension of your in-person relationship building. Over time, that online activity provides the momentum that brings a steady stream of leads to your door.

          That's crucial to building a lucrative, sustainable business that offers work-life balance.

          Let's look at some of the ways you can ensure your digital brand has the human touch:

          • Prefer Your Face to Your Logo
            Whenever possible, show your face, not your logo. A logo can be anyone, but your face is yours alone. This is crucial when deciding on social media avatars, your header photos on Twitter and Facebook, and more. When someone visits your website home page, be sure they see smiling faces — either yours or your customers'.

          • Share Stories from Actual Customers
            Customer success stories are the most important form of social proof. While many visitors will check out your reputation on third-party review sites, you should also include testimonials directly on your social media and real estate website. Written testimonials work well, but aspire to showcase your biggest wins on video.

          • Be an Advocate for Your Community
            Your value as a real estate agent is inseparable from the community where you practice. Use your digital presence to become a trusted guide to what makes your area special. Producing content about local events, top restaurants, and other amenities shows that you truly care about the place where you do your work.

          • Use Video Marketing to Build Rapport
            Video marketing is the next best thing to being there. It is a wise idea to record a video introducing yourself and your practice in your own words for your site's home page. Video tours of homes and neighborhoods are also very effective. This content helps newcomers feel like they already know you.

          • Connect with Cards and Mementos
            Of course, no brand is digital alone — and what you do outside the confines of the internet can enrich both your business and your customers' lives. Following up with former customers is essential to referral business, so don't be afraid to invest time in a handwritten card or include a small, meaningful gift.

          • Mark Special Occasions
            Holidays are the cultural touchstones we all share, while anniversaries are meaningful moments in an individual relationship. Honor both of them by producing tasteful seasonal content for your website and social media. At the same time, don't forget to acknowledge past customers on, for example, the anniversary of closing day.

          • Consider Using Text Messages
            Text messaging is quickly developing into one of the most intimate ways to start conversations with leads. You can get opt-ins through your website, social media, or automatically through Open House Connector. Asking a quick question can revive cold leads, but it's also a great way to let others know you're looking out for them.

          Marketing automation technology doesn't get in the way of relationships; it helps you manage and deepen them. Contact us to learn more.

          March
          16

          Digital technology is the ticket to accelerating the sales process. That's especially vital today, as pandemic-related uncertainty continues to shape the behaviors of both buyers and sellers. The right technology means fewer steps must be completed in person, helping everybody to move forward with confidence.

          A faster closing leads to better results for sellers, protecting their property from languishing on the market. To hasten this complex process without sacrificing quality, agents must integrate forward-looking technology at every step. A seamless, all-in-one approach to home marketing is essential. For modern real estate agents, that means fully embracing digital.

          Let's look at some of the most important pieces in today's real estate technology puzzle:

          • Excellent Photography Using Professional Equipment
            If you have been using your smartphone for real estate photography, it's time for an upgrade. While a quick snap may be suitable for your blog or social media, your listing photography must be the best of the best. Each year, more of the most desirable markets are going all-pro when it comes to visuals. Today's buyers expect photos of every room in the home, and it doesn't hurt to have several sets at different times of the day.

          • Searchable Maps
            Buyers know that they are not just choosing a home, they are moving into a community. With that in mind, you should make it easy for them to explore. An embedded Google Map in your listing is a simple way to give them a sense of what's nearby. With Google, they can even zoom down to the Street View level to examine other properties, schools, and amenities around the neighborhood.

          • Interactive Floor Plans
            Interactive floor plans allow you to take a close look at a home in several different ways. You can observe it top-down or perform a complete walk-through using a panoramic view created with multiple photos of each room. They are surprisingly easy to set up and will give you a better sense of which visitors to your listing are truly interested in a home: the more time spent on the walk-through, the better.

          • Video Tours
            To thrive, real estate agents need to get more comfortable both in front of and behind the camera. Virtual tours are here to stay — they're convenient, informative, and allow buyers to expand the radius of their home search without having to attend a lot of face-to-face events. Video tour attendees love the chance to ask questions as they go, and tours can also be archived for later review. Properties in Motion helps you do it all.

          • E-Signature
            It was not that long ago when closing day was an hours-long marathon session that often meant cramming into a small room and reviewing dozens of documents. Nothing can replace the feeling of finally having keys in hand, but buyers and sellers alike want alternatives to all the rest. E-signature services greatly reduce the number of papers that need to be signed by hand, often cutting down the time for a "drive-through closing" to minutes.

          • Social Media
            Social media has the potential to be more powerful for real estate agents than any other profession. People love to share the listings they enjoy with their friends and families, particularly on Facebook. Some firms have estimated that they sell as much as 25% of their inventory through Facebook. DeltaNet 6 customers can enjoy automated social posting through Facebook Connector and LinkedIn Connector.

          To expedite the home sale process while delivering superior customer care, more agents are adopting DeltaNet 6, an AI-driven center of excellence for all their digital real estate marketing. To learn more, contact us today.

          February
          4

          In case you missed the latest webinar from RETechnology and Delta Media Group: "What's Your Zillow Plan," we have provided the video recording above for you to check out. 

          Real estate agents have long looked warily at Zillow, a media company that aggregates data on more than 110 million American homes through its website. Since Zillow's launch in 2006, millions of home buyers and prospective sellers have diverted to begin their research on its website and app. Zillow's next move is even more disruptive: It has become a brokerage and is hiring real estate agents.

          What can real estate agents do to prepare?

          You can do what Zillow can't. This webinar takes a deep dive into actionable steps agents can take to Zillow-proof their business. In the process, you also will learn how to close more deals in 2021.

          Marilyn Wilson (RETechnology) and Franklin Stoffer (Delta Media Group) walk you through, step-by-step, how Delta Media can help you beat Zillow – and other disruptors – in your local marketplace.

          By watching this webinar recording, you'll get a chance to check out everything explained first-hand and try it free for 30 days. To learn more about the 30-day free trial, click here.

          Interested in Zillow-proofing your business? 

          Click on the following link to download the handout referenced in the webinar: http://dmgre.us/cdf/muy22nh.

          October
          29

          Keep Your Business Humming with Real Estate Technology
          As the coronavirus pandemic enters its eighth month, Harvard Business School reports that many people working from home work longer and attend more meetings than before remote work started.

          Early weeks of the pandemic saw the workday lengthen more than 8%––a difference of nearly 50 minutes. That adds up to a staggering increase from a 9.6-hour day to 10.8 hours at the recorded activity peak.

          Data from more than three million people in 16 world cities showed many types of activity increasing:

          • Employees sent 5.2% more work-related emails in a day.
          • Emails sent had an average of 2.9 more recipients.
          • Approximately 8.3 percent more emails were sent after hours.

          With many people wondering if the 9-to-5 workday is gone for good, it's essential for real estate professionals to take a step back and look at the big picture.

          Ask yourself this question, "Are you integrating real estate technology in a way that keeps productivity and morale up, and turning back the tide of an ever-expanding workday?"

          Real Estate Technology is Essential to Working Smarter, Not Longer

          In many industries, it's common to boast about long hours at work and little sleep. Over the last ten years, real estate has embraced the opposite mindset. Sales associates know managing their energy is just as crucial as managing their time––and it's indispensable to giving clients the best quality of service.

          Most of us, in any industry, simply can't give 100% for 10.8 hours.

          As with so many innovative real estate firms today, technology can be the driving force behind superior client care and a healthy work-life balance.

          Adopting technology into real estate firms isn't without trade-offs: There is a learning curve when sales associates update their workflows to include unfamiliar, sophisticated tools. But beyond the initial shocks of change lie new vistas of productivity that give real estate pros the time and energy to truly excel.

          That means having more time for high-touch relationships with clients and prospects, crafting a world-class customer experience, and building a brand you're proud of while still having time to sleep at night.

          Technology has been the key to keeping real estate humming during the coronavirus pandemic. As 2020 gives way to 2021, we are hopeful more firms will use new tools to become more efficient and effective.


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          November
          6

          Real estate technology to stay connected with clients
          Staying connected with clients is one of the most important jobs for any real estate professional. The circumstances of 2020 have shined a light on the vast amount of real estate tech available to help you stay connected with your clients and leads. 

          Use our guide to the real estate tech your business needs in today's business world.

          Click Here to Read More...

          October
          6

          Leverage Technology
          Ask any successful sales associate in the business for a few years, and they'll tell you that one of their most valuable assets is their database of past clients.

          It's simple. The sales associate worked hard to build relationships and help their past clients successfully buy and sell properties, and they know that these past clients are their most important prospects for future transactions.

          Almost all businesses are this way. Your best source of new business is either through a referral from a current client or past client or past clients returning for repeat business. These folks already know and appreciate the value of your service or product.

          Click Here to Read More...

          August
          14

          A New Era in Real Estate Technology

          I must admit that I am hesitant to write this article and share my thoughts because this concept has been abused far too long in the real estate industry. With that said and out in the open, I truly believe that we are entering into a new real estate technology era.

          Before you completely discount what I am saying as marketing gobbledygook, I ask that you consider my thinking.

          As I continually look to the future and plan the technology vision of the Delta Media Group platforms, such as the DeltaNET, I know that, from a technology standpoint, we are on the verge of monumental changes and advancements. These changes are happening right now because of the maturity of some platforms (for example, the DeltaNET is 26 years old), the maturity of computing platforms in general, coupled with a future-looking vision, and the ability to execute on that vision and bring products to market.

          Real Estate Technology - What's on the Horizon?

          Putting myself outside of my technology mind for a moment, let's consider what I see coming immediately for real estate professionals. What does this mean for the everyday user of the technology?

          Click Here to Read More...

          May
          21

          Read our May 2020 Issue of Real Estate Marketing & Technology Magazine

          Not receiving a copy of Real Estate Marketing & Technology magazine? Click here to subscribe.

          Click Here to Read More...

          May
          13

          Busyness Isn't Necessarily Good for Business - Automation is the Key

          Real Estate Technology Automation
          Anyone can find more "stuff" to do. But are you making the best use of your time?

          Real estate pros often get sidetracked by time management or productivity systems that don't deliver. Why? One reason is that low-level tasks can be so numerous and time-consuming.

          All those things that "have to get done" subtract energy from strategic tasks. At the end of the day, you could find all you've done is tread water without getting closer to the practice you want.

          Automation is the solution.

          Automation helps you define the workflows to do your job faster, easier, and more efficiently. The must-do items are accelerated and streamlined based on proven, industry-leading techniques.

          Click Here to Read More...

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